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Nölting, Svenja; Kuttner, Axel; Lauseker, Michael; Vogeser, Michael; Haug, Alexander; Herrmann, Karin A.; Hoffmann, Johannes N.; Spitzweg, Christine; Göke, Burkhard; Auernhammer, Christoph J. (2012): Chromogranin A as serum marker for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: a single center experience and literature review. In: Cancers, Vol. 4, No. 1: pp. 141-155


The aim of this study was to assess the clinical sensitivities of the tumor markers chromogranin A (CgA), urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and alkaline phosphatase (AP) in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the GastroEnteroPancreatic-(GEP-) system depending on tumor primary location and metastatic spread. In a retrospective single-center series, sensitivities were evaluated in serum samples from 110 patients with midgut (n = 62) and pancreatic (n = 48) NETs. CgA levels were analyzed by a commercially-available immunoradiometric assay (CIS-bio) during routine follow-up in the years 2000-2009. CgA showed a higher sensitivity for midgut (68%) than pancreatic (54%) NETs. A higher CgA sensitivity and significantly higher median CgA values were found in patients with liver metastases than in those without, and in patients with hepatic and additionally extra-hepatic metastases than in those with hepatic and nodal metastases alone, respectively. We found an overall sensitivity for elevated 5HIAA excretion of 69% for midgut NETs and a significant correlation between median CgA and 5-HIAA values. The sensitivity of AP and the correlations of AP/CgA-data-pairs were low in both midgut and pancreatic NETs, although highest for metastatic pancreatic NETs. The sensitivity of CgA measurement depends on the NET primary location and spread of disease. 5-HIAA and CgA showed comparable sensitivity in midgut NETs, while AP does not seem to be useful as a tumor marker in GEP-NETs.