• Carcinoembryonic antigen;
  • breast cancer

ABSTRACT: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels were serially determined in 125 patients with breast cancer in order to study the diagnostic and prognostic use of serum CEA levels before and/or after surgery and during treatment with hormonal and chemotherapy. Serum CEA levels were elevated in 15.5% of nonmetastatic patients. Carcinoembryonic antigen increased according to stage (TNM classification); and a direct relationship between positive CEA levels and subsequent recurrence was found. After a three-year postoperative interval a 50% survival rate was exhibited in CEA-positive patients vs an 88% survival rate in those patients found to be CEA negative.

There is a definite correlation between the trend of serial CEA values and the response to therapy and the development of metastases despite the fact that metastases occurred in CEA-negative patients.

Therefore CEA assay is a useful and simple adjuvant test of monitoring metastatic and nonmetastatic breast cancer.