Background: CA 125 and CEA are valuable serum tumor markers that can be used to monitor response to therapy in patients with various solid tumors. Systemic studies of CA125 and CEA have not been evaluated in lung cancer. In this study, we report the serum levels of CA 125 and compared it to CEA in newly diagnosed lung cancer and analyzed the serum levels of these markers pre- and post-therapy.
Materials and methods: Two hundred and sixteen patients with newly diagnosed non-small lung cancer were evaluated. CA 125 and CEA levels were correlated with stage and histopathology.
Results: CA 125 levels and CEA levels were shown to be lower in patients with early stage disease as compared to patients with unresectable or metastatic disease. CEA levels were significantly higher among patients with adenocarcinoma, while there was no statistically significant relationship between histology and CA 125. There was a statistically significant difference in the CEA and CA 125 levels dependent on tumor size. Thirty-seven patients were analyzed for responses to chemotherapy and responders are more likely to have decreases in CA 125 or CEA.
Conclusion: When abnormally elevated inpatients witlrlung cancer, CA 125 and CEA are useful indicators of disease extent, a useful clinical therapeutic marker, and may potentially have important prognostic value.