Tag Archives: CEA

Circulating Tumor Cells And CEA Levels Help Predict Survival in Metastatic CRC

Circulating tumor cells (rare cells from a cancerous tumor that appear in the bloodstream) can help predict how a person with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) might do over time. A study published in the October 2012 Annals of Oncology compared levels of CTCs with levels of CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) to see how the two tests compared or could be used together to predict survival times in metastatis CRC. Results in 217 patients with metastatic CRC showed that at the beginning of treatment, CTC numbers alone–not CEA levels–could accurately predict length of survival. But when patients had a high initial level of CEA levels, adding the CTC number helped predict which patients would

Colorectal Cancer Research Briefs: Patients want colonoscopy videos

Briefly Hormone replacement therapy reduces risk of colon cancer. Smoking before age 30 increases chances that colon cancer will recur. Low CEA levels improve both survival and disease-free survival for stage II colon cancer. Most patients want videos of their colonoscopies and are willing to pay for them.

CEA Flares During Chemo Don't Mean Cancer Progression

Colorectal cancer patients whose CEA blood tests rise at the beginning of chemotherapy and then fall (CEA flare) do better than patients with a consistently rising CEA.   CEA flares don’t necessarily predict worsening cancer. Compared to patients with consistently rising carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), patients who had a CEA flare had more tumor shrinkage, longer time before their cancer got worse, and longer survival time.

Early Stage Patients Benefit from Regular Follow-Up

Patients with very early stage colon cancer benefit as much from regular followup testing after surgery as later stage patients do. While overall patients with stage I or IIA colon cancer (early stage) have a lower risk of cancer returning than patients with stage IIB or III (later stage), careful surveillance after surgery is as effective in finding and treating cancer in both groups. About one in three patients in both the early and late stage who had a recurrence detected during surveillance were able to have surgery with the goal of curing their cancer.  

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