CA 19-9 in the therapy monitoring and follow-up of locally advanced cancer of the exocrine pancreas treated with radiochemotherapy.


PURPOSE The aim of this study was to determine the value of CA 19-9 in therapy monitoring and follow-up of locally advanced pancreatic cancer treated by radiochemotherapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS Ninety-five patients with locally advanced irresectable adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were treated with hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy, with 44.8 Gy and 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid, January 1994 between and June 2001. CA 19-9 was measured before therapy, each week under therapy and every 4 weeks in the follow-up. RESULTS Median CA 19-9 before treatment was 420 U/ml. Patients with a level below the median had significantly better prognosis and a better treatment response than those above the median. In the follow-up CA 19-9 had a sensitivity of 100% in detection of recurrent disease with a specificity of 88. CONCLUSION CA 19-9 has a high prognostic value and may serve as an in vivo marker for treatment sensitivity. For detection of recurrent disease it shows a high sensitivity and specificity.


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