Although a variety of tumor markers are available for diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, their sensitivity and specificity have not yet been ideal. The aims of this study was to detect a panel of serum tumor markers and to evaluate their significance in the diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients.
Eight serum tumor markers including AFP, CEA, CA-50, CA72-4, CA-125, CA153, CA19-9 and CA242 were detected in 129 patients with pancreatic cancer by using chemiluminescence immunoassay, immunofluorescence assay and immunoradiometric assay, respectively. The levels of these markers were compared in 99 patients with non-pancreatic malignant tumor, 63 patients with other benign diseases, and 27 patients with pancreatic cancer after pancreatectomy.
Among the 8 tumor markers, CA19-9, CA242, CA-50, and CA72-4 were more sensitive in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Parallel combined testing could increase the diagnostic sensitivity to 89.2%, and serial combined examination could increase the diagnostic specificity to 92.3%. The serum tumor markers levels were decreased significantly after radical tumor resection.
Serum CA19-9, CA242, CA-50, and CA72-4 are the preferred tumor markers to be used in the diagnosis and follow-up of operated cases of pancreatic cancer. Testing of a panel of multiple serum tumor markers may increase the sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.