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Biochemical prognostic factors and risk of relapses in patients with cervical cancer

Gynecologic Oncology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2007.07.033
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract No validated tumor marker is currently available for the management of patients with cervical cancer. However, some tumor-associated antigens have been measured in the sera from patients with this malignancy and have been related to the clinical course of disease. Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC) is more sensitive than CYFRA 21-1 for squamous cell cervical cancer. Serum SCC levels are elevated in 28–88% of patients with this malignancy, and correlate with tumor stage, tumor size, cervical stromal invasion, lymph-vascular space involvement, and lymph node status. Some authors reported that pre-treatment serum SCC has no prognostic value, whereas others found that it is related to disease-free survival and/or overall survival at univariate analysis or at multivariate analysis. Serial SCC measurements correlate with tumor response to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy and the clinical outcome of patients. Increasing serum SCC can precede the clinical diagnosis of relapse in 46–92% of cases, with a median lead time ranging from 2 to 8 months. According to some authors serum SCC assay during the follow-up does not improve the cure rate of patients who will ultimately develop a recurrence. However, it has been recently reported that the performance of a PET in asymptomatic patients with serum SCC elevation can sometimes allow an earlier diagnosis of relapse with a survival benefit. Serum CA 125 levels are raised in 20–75% of patients with cervical adenocarcinoma, and reflect tumor stage, tumor size, histological grade, cervical stromal invasion, lymph-vascular space involvement, and lymph node status. Pre-treatment CA 125 levels appear to have a prognostic value, and rising serum CA 125 may precede or be coincident with the clinical diagnosis of recurrent cervical adenocarcinoma.

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