Purpose: The aim of this prospective study was to assess the prognostic impact of serum tumor markers (Cyfra21-1, carcinoembryonic antigen, neuron-specific enolase, squamous cell carcinoma-antigen and TPAcyk) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving complete resection.
Methods: Sixty-seven patients with histologically proven NSCLC and complete resection of stage I-IIIA disease were included. The serum levels of all markers were measured using commercially available immunoassays.
Results: With a median follow-up of 86 months for surviving patients, those with initial Cyfra21-1 serum levels higher than 3.57 ng/ml had a significantly worse prognosis (P=0.014). The remaining serum tumor markers showed no prognostic impact. In a Cox regression model, Cyfra21-1 proved to be an independent prognostic factor for both overall survival and disease-free interval. In addition, Cyfra21-1 sustained as an independent prognostic factor in completely resected stage I/II disease.
Conclusions: With a cut-off value of 3.57 ng/ml, Cyfra 21-1 was an independent prognostic factor for survival in NSCLC-patients with complete resection. Further evaluation is needed, particularly in stage I/II disease. When the prognostic impact is confirmed with larger patient numbers this may contribute to the identification of stratification variables for future treatment approaches of NSCLC.