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Marker predicts pancreatic cancer outcome after surgery, Jefferson surgeon finds

percent reduction in death in patients treated with additional chemotherapy and radiation for pancreatic cancer compared to those with levels above 180.

While CA 19-9 is a well established tumor marker for pancreatic cancer, he notes, These results allow us to stratify individuals for other therapies. If a person is operated on and has potentially curative surgery, but four to six weeks after surgery has a CA 19-9 level above 180, he or she should probably have a different treatment than what was given in this trial. They should probably have prolonged chemotherapy and hold off a little longer on radiation.

While CA 19-9 is elevated in most patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, its use as a cancer marker is not foolproof. It may also be elevated in other cancers, conditions and diseases, such as colorectal cancer, lung cancer and pancreatitis, for example.

The findings make a strong case for everyone to have CA 19-9 scores checked after surgery, he says. These should be followed regularly. In addition, he notes, other researchers are studying whether the rate of change in CA 19-9 can predict survival. Future trials may involve examining the predictive value of lower CA 19-9 scores.


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Contact: Steven Benowitz
Steven.Benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-6300
Thomas Jefferson University
22-Jun-2007


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