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Differences in Serum Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 and Carcinoembryonic Antigen Levels between Pancreatic Cancer Patients with or Without Diabetes Mellitus

Abstracts


Background. The relationship between diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer has been shown in previous studies with respect to prognosis and risk factor of pancreatic cancer. However, little is known about the predictive value of serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) for the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in patients with diabetes. The present study aims to find the cut-off values of CA19-9 and CEA levels which may be correlated with the presence of diabetes mellitus in pancreatic cancer patients. Methods. The present retrospective study used data collected from pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed in a single hospital from January 1993 to December 2010. The patients were separated into two groups according to presence or absence of diabetes. Cancer was diagnosed based on pathological and/or imaging findings. Results. Of the 317 pancreatic cancer patients enrolled, 151 (47.7%) patients had diabetes. The percentage of new-onset diabetes (defined as < 24 months in duration) was 57.61% (87/151) in pancreatic cancer patients with diabetes. No significant differences were observed in the mean levels of serum CA 19-9 and CEA between the two groups. However, when the values of CEA and CA 19-9 were analyzed as dichotomous variables, higher levels of CEA (≥ 6 ng/mL) and CA 19-9 (≥ 500 U/mL) were strongly correlated with the presence of diabetes in pancreatic cancer patients. Conclusion. Once diabetic patient has a CEA level ≥ 6 ng/mL, pancreatic cancer could be considered as a higher priority diagnosis than usual.

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