BACKGROUND & AIMS: The utility of measuring carcinoembryonic antigen(CEA) and cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3) levels in patients with breast cancer remains controversial. The present study aims to investigate the prognostic value of preoperative serum CEA and CA15-3 levels in breast cancer patients. METHODS: Serum preoperative CEA and CA 15-3 concentration levels were measured in a total of 432 breast cancer patients. The association of tumor markers levels with clinicopathological parameters and outcomes were analyzed. RESULTS: Elevated serum levels of CEA and CA15-3 were identified in 47 (10.9%) and 60(13.9%) patients, respectively. Larger tumor size, advanced axillary lymph nodal and TNM stage exhibited higher proportion of elevated CEA and CA15-3 levels. The elevation of CEA levels was significantly greater in patients with HER2 positive tumors, and the elevation of CA15-3 levels was significantly greater in ER negative breast patients. Univariate and multivariate Cox's regression analysis revealed that elevated preoperative CEA and CA 15-3 levels were independent prognostic factors for DFS and OS. When considering the combination of both markers levels, patients with both elevated markers presented the worst survival. Independent prognostic significance of elevated preoperative serum CEA and CA15-3 levels were reconfirmed in Luminal B breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative serum levels of CEA and CA15-3 are independent prognostic parameters for breast cancer.
Shao, Y., Sun, X., He, Y., Liu, C., & Liu, H. (2015). Elevated levels of serum tumor markers CEA and CA15-3 are prognostic parameters for different molecular subtypes of breast cancer. PLoS ONE, 10(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0133830