Background: Although carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) has been reported as a biomarker to predict the resectability of pancreatic cancer, several limitations have restricted its clinical use.
Methods: The potential of several serum tumor markers (CA19-9, CA125, CA50, CA242, CA724, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)) to predict the resectability of pancreatic cancer was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis in a series of 212 patients with proven pancreatic cancer.
Results: Compared with other tumor markers including CA19-9, CA125 has a superior predictive value (CA19-9, ROC area 0.66, cutoff value 289.40 U/mL; CA125, ROC area 0.81, cutoff value 19.70 U/mL). In addition, for patients with unresectable diseases misjudged by CT as resectable, the percentage of CA125 over selected cutoff value was higher than that of CA19-9 (CA19-9, 70.27 %; CA125, 81.08 %).
Conclusion: CA125 is superior to CA19-9 in predicting the resectability of pancreatic cancer. Aberrant high levels of CA125 may indicate unresectable pancreatic cancer.