Objective: To determine whether measurement of preoperative serum carcinoembryonic antigen concentrations adds useful prognostic data to current preoperative staging of lung cancer by computed tomography, bronchoscopy, and mediastinoscopy. Methods: A prospective cohort study of 130 consecutive patients was evaluated for suspected lung cancer from July 1991 through December 1992 at a university-affiliated Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Serum concentrations of carcinoembryonic antigen were measured before diagnosis, staging, or resection of cancer. Results: Malignant disease was diagnosed by bronchoscopy, needle biopsy, mediastinoscopy, or resection in 111 of 130 patients. In the 50 patients undergoing resection with curative intent, multivariate analysis indicated that carcinoembryonic antigen was a significant predictor of survival independent of patient age, pathologic stage, histologic type, and tumor size (P = .0357). Conclusions: Elevated preoperative serum concentrations of carcinoembryonic antigen predict a poor prognosis for lung cancer independent of other conventional staging parameters and have an adjunctive role in the staging of lung cancer.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the Veterans Affairs Department of Research.