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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2010 Nov;136(11):1627-31. doi: 10.1007/s00432-010-0820-0. Epub 2010 Feb 20.

Elevated levels of CA 19-9 and CEA in pancreatic cancer-associated diabetes.

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Department of Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Cancer Institute, Zhejiang University, 88# Jiefang Road, Hangzhou 310009, People's Republic of China.



The relationship between diabetes and pancreatic cancer has been established by more than several decades of research. However, serum levels of CEA and CA 19-9 in diabetic pancreatic cancer has not been shown.


Preoperative serum levels of CEA and CA 19-9 and clinicopathological characteristics were retrospectively analyzed in 79 with or 229 without diabetes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) patients.


Of the 308 PDA patients enrolled, 79 (25.6%) patients had diabetes. The percentage of new-onset diabetes (i.e. <24 months in duration) was 57% (45/79) in PDA patients coupled with diabetes. Among diabetic PDA patients, mean total bilirubin and fasting blood glucose significantly increased in comparison with control groups (8.54 ± 14.88 vs. 4.16 ± 6.12; 170.22 ± 106.96 vs. 95.84 ± 15.76; P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in mean levels of serum CA 19-9 and CEA levels between two groups. However, when the value of CEA and CA 19-9 was analyzed as a dichotomous variable, elevated CEA (≥5 ng/ml) and CA 19-9 (≥500 U/ml) levels were strongly correlated with the presence of diabetes in PDA patients.


Elevated CEA (≥5 ng/ml) and CA19-9 (≥500 U/ml) levels have an association with diabetic pancreatic cancer. New-onset diabetes combined with higher CA 19-9 and/or CEA might be regarded as a useful tool to screen early pancreatic cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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