Perioperative Serum Carcinoembryonic Antigen Levels Predict Recurrence and Survival of Patients with Pathological T2-4 Gastric Cancer Treated with Curative Gastrectomy

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Background/Aims: Do serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9 levels serve as prognostic indicators in patients with gastric cancer (GC)? This is a question that has long been disputed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the significance of perioperative serum levels of CEA and CA19-9 for predicting the recurrence and long-term survival after patients with pT2-4 GC undergo curative gastrectomy. Methods: This study included 251 patients with radically resected pT2-4 GC without preoperative treatment. Associations between the preoperative and postoperative serum levels of CEA or CA19-9 and postoperative long-term outcomes and recurrence patterns were evaluated. Results: Preoperative CEA >5.0 ng/mL was an independent prognostic factor of overall survival. Elevation of both preoperative CEA and CA19-9 levels showed no synergistic adverse effects on prognosis. Preoperative levels of these markers achieved superior predictive performance compared with the postoperative values. Adverse prognosis is significantly associated with persistent elevation of CEA levels before and after gastrectomy. Elevation of CEA levels, particularly at postoperative measurement, was significantly associated with hematogenous recurrence. Conclusion: Determination of perioperative CEA levels facilitated predictions of recurrence patterns and prognosis among patients with pT2-4 GC who underwent curative gastrectomy.

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