Prognostic value of CA 19-9 serum course in pancreatic cancer

Farouk Safi, Wolfgang Schlosser, Stephanie Falkenreck, Hans G. Beger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the sensibility and specificity of a new assay in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and predictability of resection rates. In addition, the serum CA19-9 levels was utilised as a prognostic indicator. Methodology: Serum expression of the tumor marker CA 19-9 was studied in 2119 patients. Results: The discriminating capacity of CA 19-9 between benign and malignant disease was high, especially in patients with pancreatic cancer (n = 347). The sensitivity of CA 19-9 was 85%. In patients who were Lewis blood type positive, the sensitivity increased to 92%. The CA 19-9 levels were significantly lower in patients with resectable tumors (n= 126) than in those with unresectable tumors (n = 221, p < 0.0001) (sensitivity 74% versus 90%). The CA 19-9 levels dropped sharply after resection but normalised only in 29%, 13%, and 10% of patients with stage I, II, and III, respectively. In unresectable tumors, no significant decrease in CA 19-9 levels after laparotomy or bypass was found. Among patients with the same tumor stage, the median survival time of those whose CA 19-9 levels returned to normal after resection was significantly longer than those with postoperative CA 19-9 levels that decreased but did not return to normal (stage I: 33 versus 11.3 months; stage II: 41 versus 8.6 months; stage III 28 versus 10.8 months). In patients with recurrent disease, 88% had an obvious rise in CA 19-9 levels. Conclusion: CA19-9 measurement is a simple test which can be used for diagnostic purposes, as well as the prediction of resectability, survival rate after surgery, and the potential for recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-259
Number of pages7
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • CA 19-9
  • Diagnostic and prognostic values
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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