To investigate the diagnostic value and clinical significance of serum tumor markers CEA, CA19-9 and CA242 in patients with colorectal cancer.
The serum levels of CEA, CA19-9 and CA242 were determined by ELISA before surgery in 134 patients with colorectal cancer and in 200 healthy people as a control.
The CEA, CA19-9 and CA242 levels in patients were significantly higher than those in controls (P < 0.01, respectively). The sensitivity of CEA and CA242 for colorectal cancer diagnosis was higher than that of CA19-9, and the combined sensitivity of CEA + CA242 and CEA + CA242 + CA19-9 were higher than that of single item or the other two combinations (CEA + CA19-9 and CA19-9 + CA242). In Dukes stages A, B, C and D, serum levels and sensitivity of the three tumor markers were significantly and successively increased. In the cases with lymph node metastasis, levels of the three tumor markers were significantly increased. The markers levels were also significantly and successively increased along with the extent of cancer infiltration.
The results indicate that the combined use of CEA and CA242 or the three markers is an useful adjuvant diagnostic measure for colorectal cancer, and is helpful in the evaluation of lymph node metastasis, degree of invasion and Dukes staging in cancer treatment.