Tailgut cysts (TGCs) are rare congenital cysts that occur in the retrorectal or presacral spaces. Although most tailgut cysts have been reported as benign, there have been at least 9 cases associated with malignant change. We report herein on an unusual case of a 40-year-old woman with a carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-producing adenocarcinoma arising within a TGC who underwent surgical resection and local radiation therapy. Despite the complete resection, metastatic adenocarcinoma developed five months after surgery. CEA-producing adenocarcinoma from a TGC is extremely rare and only two cases, including this case, have been reported in the English medical literature. Besides CEA, the serum levels of CA 19-9 became markedly elevated in this patient. Given that the serum CEA level decreased to the normal range after complete resection of tumor and that the tumor recurrence was associated with a rebound of the CEA serum level, our case shows that serial measurements of serum CEA can be used for treatment planning and for assessing the patient's treatment response for this rare disease.
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