The prognostic significance of preoperative tumor marker (CEA, CA15-3) elevation in breast cancer patients: data from the Korean Breast Cancer Society Registry

Sang eun Nam, Woosung Lim, Joon Jeong, Seeyoun Lee, Jungeun Choi, Heung Kyu Park, Yong Sik Jung, Seung Pil Jung, Soo Youn Bae

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Abstract

Purpose: Tumor markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3) are widely used for monitoring breast cancer. However, the prognostic efficacy of preoperative elevations of CEA and CA15-3 levels in breast cancer patients remains controversial. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathological parameters of 149,238 patients in the Korean Breast Cancer Society Registry Database who underwent surgery between January 2000 and December 2015. Results: The patients with elevated CA15-3/CEA levels had worse overall survival (OS) than the patients with normal CA15-3/CEA levels. For the luminal A subtype, the CA15-3- and CEA-elevated group had a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.14 (95% CI 1.01–4.55). The CA15-3-elevated group had an HR of 2.38 (95% CI 1.58–3.58) and the CEA-elevated group had an HR of 1.79 (95% CI 1.20–2.68) compared to the normal group. For the luminal B subtype, the CA15-3- and CEA-elevated group had an HR of 3.99 (95% CI 2.23–7.16), whereas the CA15-3-elevated group had an HR of 2.38 (95% CI 1.58–3.58) and the CEA-elevated group had an HR of 1.79 (95% CI 1.20–2.68). For the HER2 subtype, elevated CEA level was the only independent prognostic factor. However, for the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype, elevated preoperative CEA and CA15-3 levels were not significant prognostic factors for OS. Conclusion: Preoperative CEA and CA15-3 levels showed varying prognostic ability according to breast cancer subtype. Preoperative CA15-3 and CEA elevation are significant prognostic factors for luminal breast cancer, but they were not significant factors for TNBC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

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Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • CA15-3
  • CEA
  • Overall survival
  • Prognosis
  • Subtypes
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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