Perioperative carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) blood level is a predictor of outcome after resection of colorectal liver metastases (CLMs).
Prospective clinical study.
Department of digestive surgery and transplantation.
Between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2004, CEA levels were routinely measured 1 week before and 6 weeks after CLM resection in 213 patients. The patients were divided into the following 3 groups: group A (n = 69) with normal preoperative and postoperative CEA levels, group B (n = 111) with elevated preoperative and normal postoperative CEA levels, and group C (n = 33) with elevated preoperative and postoperative CEA levels.
Main Outcome Measures
The use of perioperative CEA levels to predict outcome after resection.
The median survival was 45.4 months. The 5-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 50.2% and 21.9%, respectively, in group A, 38.5% and 18.3% in group B, and 0.0% and 0.0% in group C (P < .001). Univariate analysis showed that patients with elevated preoperative and postoperative CEA levels, multiple CLMs, large CLMs (≥5 cm), advanced Fong clinical risk score, bilobar distribution, and hepatic pedicle lymph node involvement had significantly poorer overall and disease-free survival. By multivariate analysis, only perioperative CEA level, hepatic pedicle lymph node involvement, and number and size of CLMs were independent prognostic factors. The 5-year survival rates showed good correlation with perioperative CEA levels in all 3 patient groups.
The predictive value of perioperative CEA levels is demonstrated. Carcinoembryonic antigen levels as early as 6 weeks after surgery may be helpful in assigning patients to adjuvant chemotherapy after resection of CLMs.