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J Thorac Dis. 2012 Oct;4(5):490-6. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2012.09.01.

Expression and prognostic relevance of tumor carcinoembryonic antigen in stage IB non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Anesthesia, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510060, China;



High serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels have been reported to be associated with poor prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), while the prognostic role of tumor CEA expression remains to be defined. The present study investigated the expression of tumor CEA in stage IB NSCLC, and correlated it with clinicopathological features and prognosis.


Immunohistochemistry for tumor CEA was assessed in the specimens of 183 patients with stage IB NSCLC. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to determine the cut-off score for tumor positivity.


High CEA expression was detected more frequently in adenocarcinomas (72.2%) and other NSCLCs (69.0%) than in squamous cell carcinomas (25.4%, P<0.001). Both univariate and multivariate analysis indicated that tumor CEA was an independent prognostic factor for overall and disease-free survival (P<0.05).


Elevated expression of tumor CEA may be an adverse prognostic indicator in stages IB NSCLC.


Non-small cell lung cancer; carcinoembryonic antigen; prognosis; receiver operating characteristic curve

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