Clinical value of a multiple biomarker assay in patients with bronchogenic carcinoma

Cancer. 1986 Jun 15;57(12):2389-96. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19860615)57:12<2389::aid-cncr2820571225>;2-#.


In 98 newly diagnosed patients with histologically proven bronchogenic carcinoma seen at Cuneo Hospital of Chest Diseases from July 1983 to December 1984, multiple biomarker assays were performed. Fiftynine cases had more than one carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and/or tissue polypeptide antigen (TPA) assay during the course of the disease, at 3- to 12-week intervals. A total of 209 CEA (91 pretreatment), 170 TPA (80 pretreatment), 62 human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)-beta subunits and 60 lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was assayed. In addition, serum samples were taken from 141 blood donors and their TPA values were used as a control. The percentages of elevated values were, respectively, 37%, 52%, 18%, and 25%. In 85% of the patients at least one biomarker was found to be higher than normal. Neither significant differences between mean biomarker levels in tumors of various histologic types nor positive intermarker correlations were found. The number of patients with elevated CEA, TPA, and LDH serum levels and their mean values increased significantly according to the disease extent. Among evaluated markers TPA showed the highest accordance to tumor burden. The raising of two markers was never associated with Stage I-II disease, except in one patient. Both CEA and TPA concentrations changed significantly during the course of the illness in relation to the clinical status assessment. Abnormal pretreatment levels of CEA, LDH, and particularly, TPA were independently and significantly associated with a poor outcome. Patients with abnormal levels of TPA and LDH and, to a lesser degree, TPA and beta-HCG had shorter survival as compared with patients with high TPA values, irrespective of the LDH and beta-HCG levels, although not significantly so.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / analysis*
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / analysis*
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / analysis
  • Lung Neoplasms / analysis*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Tissue Polypeptide Antigen


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Tissue Polypeptide Antigen
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase