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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus

Frequency: Quarterly

ISSN 0026-4954

Online ISSN 1827-1723


Minerva Pneumologica 1999 June;38(2):59-64


Survival in advanced lung cancer according to tumor markers

Colangeli A., Colangeli M. S., Farina E.

Background. Lung cancer (LC) is one of the worst due to its high lethality, so Physicians usually dose tumor markers (TM) to sceen, diagnose of monitor LC. It as been investigate if TM can foresee survival time when LC is detected.
Methods. During 1992/96 we have carried out a study on survival of 133 subjects with advanced LC. Patients were of both sexes, 106 males and 27 females, aged 31 to 84 years, 60 in the IIIb and 73 in IV stage, 19 suffering from small cell LC (SCLC) and the remaining 114 form non SCLC (NSCLC), 91 patients were submitted giving a to polychemiotherapy, the others only a general support therapy. When LC was diagnosed, we also dosed Carcinoembrionic Antigen (CEA), Neuron- Specific Enolase (NSE), Squamous Cell Carcinoma Antigen (SCC), serum fragment of Citokeratin subunit 19 (CYFRA) and Beta- 2- Microglobulini (B2M) using monoclonal antibodies. About a half of the whole group was CEA, NSE and B2M producer, and about a fourth was CYFRA and SCC producer. CEA and NSE mean values were high in NSCLC and SCLS rispectively, as well known. Data were analyzed by Kaplan-Meier's product-limits method and by Cox' model.
Results. Median time in survival was very short (8 months) and there were differences only according to sex, age, stage and therapy, but not according to TM values. No higher death risk according to high values of TM. Subgroups analysis confirmed general trend.
Conclusions. The conclusion is drawn that TM cannot foresee survival time when LC is diagnosed.

language: Italian


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