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Purpose: According to an account published by The European Group on Tumour Markers (EGTM) of 2003, CEA is the
main marker used in detecting colorectal cancer. It is important to point out, however, that approximately 10-15 % of patients
do not produce CEA at all or secreted only minimal amounts of it. In such cases the normal level of CEA concentration does
not exclude the existence of a neoplasm even at an advanced stage. The test for TPS concentration should be added to the list
of markers for this group of patients. TPS increases the sensitivity in detecting early stages of colorectal carcinoma. At the
advanced stage of colon and rectal carcinomas the CEA concentration can increase eightfold and CA 19-9 concentration can
increase fourfold. Recently an increased interest in the soluble fragments of cytokeratins, especially the 18th (TPS), has been
Methods: In this research the preoperative CEA and TPS concentrations in a group of 178 patients with colorectal cancer
were estimated. The patients were divided into 4 groups according to the Dukes’s stage level of carcinoma advancement.
Results: In determining TPS the observed profile of TPS concentration was different from the profile of CEA concentration
because the TPS concentration was increased even at the earliest stage of tumour development.
Conclusions: The determination of TPS concentration in patients with colorectal cancer provides essential information in
detecting the carcinoma, especially at the earliest stages of its development.
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