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Dig Dis. 1996 Jan-Feb;14(1):5-13.

Management of recurrent colorectal cancer: another look at carcinoembryonic antigen-detected recurrence.

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Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610-0286, USA.


There is currently controversy regarding the use of serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the follow-up of colorectal cancer. This article reviews the most recent clinical data regarding CEA and discusses the rationales for its use in the follow-up of colorectal cancer. The patterns of colorectal cancer recurrence and their variable association with CEA elevation are presented. The contributions of the new imaging modalities, including radiolabeled antibodies, are reviewed and information on the prognosis following resection of recurrences is provided. A practical approach to colorectal cancer recurrences is suggested in two algorithms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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