Author(s): Seppl M, Pihko H, Ruoslahti E
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Abstract Circulating carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and alpha fetoprotein (AFP) levels were measured by radioimmunoassay in 53 patients with carcinoma of the ovary, 16 patients with other malignant genital tumors, and 31 women with nonmalignant diseases of the genital tract. The serum CEA concentration was elevated (greater than 5 ng/ml) in 11 patients with ovarian cancer, 2 patients with endometrial cancer, 1 patient with carcinoma of the cervix, and 1 patient with a benign embryonal cystic teratoma. Elevated CEA levels were found only in patients with advanced malignant disease, while early stages were associated with normal CEA concentrations. AFP levels were normal in all but 1 patient. Both CEA and AFP levels were markedly raised in a case of advanced genital carcinoma arising probably from the ovary. Ascitic fluid of another patient with ovarian cancer contained a high concentration of CEA, giving an identical reaction in immunodiffusion with CEA from colon cancer. The present results indicate that while the increased expression of carcinofetal components takes place in some malignant tumors of the female genital tract, it is usually a late phenomenon.
This article was published in Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology