Purpose: Tumor markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3) are widely used for monitoring breast cancer. However, the prognostic efficacy of preoperative elevations of CEA and CA15-3 levels in breast cancer patients remains controversial. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathological parameters of 149,238 patients in the Korean Breast Cancer Society Registry Database who underwent surgery between January 2000 and December 2015. Results: The patients with elevated CA15-3/CEA levels had worse overall survival (OS) than the patients with normal CA15-3/CEA levels. For the luminal A subtype, the CA15-3- and CEA-elevated group had a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.14 (95% CI 1.01–4.55). The CA15-3-elevated group had an HR of 2.38 (95% CI 1.58–3.58) and the CEA-elevated group had an HR of 1.79 (95% CI 1.20–2.68) compared to the normal group. For the luminal B subtype, the CA15-3- and CEA-elevated group had an HR of 3.99 (95% CI 2.23–7.16), whereas the CA15-3-elevated group had an HR of 2.38 (95% CI 1.58–3.58) and the CEA-elevated group had an HR of 1.79 (95% CI 1.20–2.68). For the HER2 subtype, elevated CEA level was the only independent prognostic factor. However, for the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype, elevated preoperative CEA and CA15-3 levels were not significant prognostic factors for OS. Conclusion: Preoperative CEA and CA15-3 levels showed varying prognostic ability according to breast cancer subtype. Preoperative CA15-3 and CEA elevation are significant prognostic factors for luminal breast cancer, but they were not significant factors for TNBC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article was supported by the Korean Breast Cancer Society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research