• carcinoembryonic antigen;
  • FDG-PET;
  • non-small cell lung cancer;
  • prognosis;
  • SUVmax


Aims:  The relationship between the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) on positron emission tomography (PET) and serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients was investigated.

Methods:  Consecutively, 197 surgically resected NSCLC patients with preoperative staging including serum CEA and PET were reviewed retrospectively.

Results:  When patients were subdivided into two groups based on the median value of the SUVmax (6.6), the 5-year survival of patients with a high SUVmax was 63.20%, which was significantly worse than patients with a low SUVmax (87.29%, P = 0.0004). The 5-year survival of patients with normal and high serum CEA level was 82.70 and 51.08%, respectively (P < 0.0001). Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated the independent prognostic impact of the SUVmax and serum CEA level. Patients with both low SUVmax and normal serum CEA level had favorable prognosis, whereas those with both high SUVmax and high serum CEA level had poor prognosis.

Conclusion:  Preoperative SUVmax and serum CEA level are independent prognostic factors for survival in NSCLC. The combined use of preoperative SUVmax and serum CEA level might be a better prognostic indicator.