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Tumour Biol. 1998;19(6):505-16.

The clinical value of squamous cell carcinoma antigen in cancer of the uterine cervix.

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  • 1Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiotherapy, Medical Oncology, and Pathology, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands.


A review is given of the clinical use and interpretation of serum tumor marker levels during the treatment of patients with cancer of the uterine cervix. Pretreatment serum squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) antigen provides a new prognostic factor in early stage squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Elevated serum values of SCC antigen at the time of diagnosis of stage IB and IIA cervical cancer indicate a 3 x increased risk of tumor recurrence, independent of tumor diameter, grade or the presence of lymph node metastases. High pretreatment SCC antigen levels could therefore be used to select 'high-risk' patients for adjuvant therapy. Measurement of the serum SCC antigen levels provides a means of monitoring the effect of therapy. During the postoperative follow-up of patients with localized cancer of the uterine cervix the measurement of SCC antigen can lead to the early detection of recurrent disease when curative therapy is still an option. The profile of serum SCC antigen parallels the response to radiotherapy and provides a way of evaluating the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Serial measurements after surgery and during radio- and chemotherapy demonstrate that SCC antigen is a more sensitive marker for recognizing tumor progression or recurrence than CYFRA-21.1, TPS or CEA. When following up patients with a pure adenocarcinoma of the cervix measurements of serum CA 125 and CEA are preferred over SCC antigen measurements.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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