Chromogranin A is a reliable biomarker for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in an Asian population of patients

Neuroendocrinology. 2012;95(4):344-50. doi: 10.1159/000333853. Epub 2012 Feb 14.


Purpose: To evaluate the significance of plasma chromogranin A (CgA) levels in patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NET) in terms of disease status and treatment responses.

Materials and methods: Forty-four GEP-NET patients comprising 15 disease-free patients and 29 patients with active disease, as well as 26 healthy participants were enrolled in this study between April 2010 and April 2011. Clinicopathological factors were collected and serial plasma CgA levels were measured.

Results: Plasma CgA levels were significantly higher in GEP-NET patients with active disease than in disease-free patients (p = 0.011) or healthy participants (p = 0.001). No difference in CgA levels was observed in terms of primary tumor location, tumor grade, and functional status in patients with active disease. CgA values at 94 U/l distinguished healthy individuals or disease-free patients from patients with active disease. Sensitivity and specificity rates were 86 and 88%, respectively. CgA levels at 110 U/l differentiated patients without recurrence from those with recurrence, with a sensitivity rate of 100% and a specificity rate of 80%. Patients (5/5, 100%) with stable disease and who showed partial response after treatment had a more than 20% decrease in CgA levels compared with the baseline values. Patients (6/6, 100%) with progressive disease showed a less than 20% decrease or increase in CgA levels.

Conclusion: The plasma CgA level is a reliable biomarker for GEP-NET. We conclude that changes in CgA levels are associated with disease status and treatment responses.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / physiology
  • Chromogranin A / blood
  • Chromogranin A / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / blood
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnosis*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / ethnology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Population
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chromogranin A