OBJECTIVE: To update the 1997 clinical practice guidelines for the use of tumor marker tests in the prevention, screening, treatment, and surveillance of breast and colorectal cancers. These guidelines are intended for use in the care of patients outside of clinical trials. OPTIONS: Six tumor markers for colorectal cancer and eight for breast cancer were considered. They could be recommended or not for routine use or for special circumstances. In addition to carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA 15-3, CA 27.29 was also considered among the serum tumor markers for breast cancer. OUTCOMES: In general, the significant health outcomes identified for use in making clinical practice guidelines (overall survival, disease-free survival, quality of life, lesser toxicity, and cost-effectiveness) were used. EVIDENCE: A computerized literature search from 1994 to March 1999 was performed. VALUES: The same values for use, utility, and levels of evidence were used by the committee. BENEFITS, HARMS, AND COSTS: The same benefit, harms, and costs were used. RECOMMENDATION: Changes were recommended (see Appendix). VALIDATION: The updated recommendations were validated by external review by the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO's) Health Services Research Committee and by ASCO's Board of Directors. SPONSOR: American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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