Biologic evaluation of tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 and carcinoembryonic antigen expression in colorectal cancer, part I

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Tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 has been recently suggested as a new serum marker for colorectal cancer. In fact, approximately 40 percent of colorectal cancer patients have positive tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 serum levels at the time of diagnosis, while only 3 percent of patients with benign diseases are positive. A longitudinal evaluation of colorectal cancer patients suggested the utility of combining the measurement of tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 with that of carcinoembryonic antigen to monitor disease status not only at the time of diagnosis, but also at the time of recurrence. Several reports have indicated that the expression of some tumor antigens in colorectal adenomas may correlate with those parameters conventionally considered as indicative of malignant transformation. The presence of tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 in colorectal adenomas has been recently correlated with preneoplastic lesions, suggesting that tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 may be considered as an early marker of neoplastic transformation. The evaluation of tumor antigens can be considered a new tool in the management of colorectal cancer.

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