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Boeck, Stefan; Stieber, Petra; Holdenrieder, Stefan; Wilkowski, Ralf and Heinemann, Volker (2006): Prognostic and therapeutic significance of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 as tumor marker in patients with pancreatic cancer. In: Oncology, No. 4: pp. 255-264 [PDF, 170kB]


In pancreatic cancer ( PC) accurate determination of treatment response by imaging often remains difficult. Various efforts have been undertaken to investigate new factors which may serve as more appropriate surrogate parameters of treatment efficacy. This review focuses on the role of carbohydrate antigen 19- 9 ( CA 19- 9) as a prognostic tumor marker in PC and summarizes its contribution to monitoring treatment efficacy. We undertook a Medline/ PubMed literature search to identify relevant trials that had analyzed the prognostic impact of CA 19- 9 in patients treated with surgery, chemoradiotherapy and chemotherapy for PC. Additionally, relevant abstract publications from scientific meetings were included. In advanced PC, pretreatment CA 19- 9 levels have a prognostic impact regarding overall survival. Also a CA 19- 9 decline under chemotherapy can provide prognostic information for median survival. A 20% reduction of CA 19- 9 baseline levels within the first 8 weeks of chemotherapy appears to be sufficient to define a prognostic relevant subgroup of patients ('CA 19- 9 responder'). It still remains to be defined whether the CA 19- 9 response is a more reliable method for evaluating treatment efficacy compared to conventional imaging. Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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