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Int J Biol Markers. 2010 Jul-Sep;25(3):171-6.

Is circulating D-dimer level a better prognostic indicator than CEA in resectable colorectal cancer? Our experience on 199 cases.

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Department of Human Pathology and Oncology, Unit of Surgical Oncology, University of Siena and ITT, Istituto Toscano Tumori, Siena, Italy.



To evaluate the clinical impact of D-dimer (DD) as a tumor marker in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The prognostic value of preoperative DD measurement was assessed in relation to carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels.


DD and CEA levels were measured preoperatively in 199 patients who underwent resection for CRC and the results were analyzed statistically.


The preoperative mean (± SD) levels of DD and CEA were 347.5 (± 940.1) ng/mL and 106.4 (± 1099.2) ng/mL. The DD level was significantly correlated with the nature of surgery (emergency vs. elective; p=0.002), presence of residual tumor (R1-2 vs R0; p=0.037), and tumor diameter (p<0.001). Conversely, DD was not correlated with tumor grade, pT, pN and M stages, and stage according to the Dukes classification. The 5-year survival rates were 80% and 64% for patients with negative and positive DD values, respectively (p=0.156). CEA was significantly related to all major prognostic factors (resection category, pT, pN and M stages as well as Dukes stage). A significantly worse prognosis was observed for patients with positive CEA levels. Multivariate analysis confirmed CEA as an independent prognostic factor (p=0.005), whilst DD was not (p=0.796).


The possible clinical usefulness of preoperative assessment of DD suggested by previous studies has not been confirmed by our data. CEA was confirmed to be the most reliable and valid indicator of prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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