Tumour markers CEA, NSE, SCC, TPA and CYFRA 21.1 in resectable non-small cell lung cancer

P Foa, M Fornier, R Miceli, E Seregni, L Santambrogio, M Nosotti, I Cataldo, M Sala, S Caldiera, E Bombardieri
Anticancer Research 1999, 19 (4): 3613-8

BACKGROUND: In the last few years, several prognostic factors have been investigated in order to identify among patients with completely resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) subsets at high risk of recurrence. In this context, the actual role of serum tumour markers is still unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of preoperative CEA, NSE, SCC, TPA and CYFRA 21.1 serum levels in 62 patients submitted to radical surgery for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The predicting ability of these tumour markers with respect to histological type and pathological stage was also assessed.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: After informed consent was obtained, the preoperative serum concentrations of the tumour markers CEA, NSE, SCC, TPA and CYFRA 21.1 were measured by means of immunometric assays in 62 patients referred to our Institutions from January to December 1992. All patients had resectable, histologically proven NSCLC and were submitted to radical surgery. Overall survival (OS) was calculated as the time elapsed from surgery to the date of death or last clinical evaluation; the prognostic effect of the tumour markers was investigated by Cox multiple regression models.

RESULTS: Fifty-six patients were male and 6 female; median age was 62 years. Thirty-four patients had a histological diagnosis of adenocarcinoma and 28 of squamous cell carcinomas. With regard to pathological stage, 32 patients had stage I, 4 patients had stage II and 23 patients had stage IIIA disease. In this series of patients, at a median follow-up of 55 months after surgery, we found that both TPA and CYFRA 21.1 serum levels at the time of diagnosis were reliable predictors of overall survival high values of these markers being associated with worse prognosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that in completely resected NSCLC, TPA and CYFRA 21.1 preoperative serum levels might provide a useful tool for stratifying subgroups of patients with different chances of disease recurrence after surgery.

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