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Br J Cancer. 1996 Sep; 74(6): 925–929.
PMCID: PMC2074725

Independent prognostic value of preoperative serum markers CA 242, specific tissue polypeptide antigen and human chorionic gonadotrophin beta, but not of carcinoembryonic antigen or tissue polypeptide antigen in colorectal cancer.


The prognostic value of preoperative serum concentrations of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CA 242, tissue polypeptide antigen (TPA), specific tissue polypeptide antigen (TPS) and human chorionic gonadotrophin beta (hCG beta) in 251 patients with colorectal cancer (39 Dukes' A, 98 Dukes' B, 56 Dukes' C and 58 Dukes' D) was investigated. When using the cut-off levels recommended for diagnostic purposes, there was a significantly longer overall survival in patients with low tumour marker levels compared with patients with elevated serum levels for all the investigated markers. In Dukes' stage B, C and D CA 242 emerged as a significant predictor of survival, whereas TPA, TPS and hCG beta showed a value only in Dukes' D. Unfortunately, no marker provided prognostic information in Dukes' A. In multivariate analysis, entering the tumour markers as continuous variables, Dukes' stage was the strongest prognostic factor, followed by CA 242. TPS, hCG beta and localisation of the tumour were also independent prognostic factors, whereas age, gender, CEA and TPA were not.

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