Antigen Level Signals Response to Chemo for Pancreatic Cancer

Overall survival, time to progression longer with early drop of >10 percent in carbohydrate antigen 19-9

MONDAY, Aug. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A drop in carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9 levels of more than 10 percent after two rounds of chemotherapy is associated with longer survival in patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), according to a study published online Aug. 6 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Kwang Hyun Chung, from Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues assessed the correlation between early decrement in CA 19-9 concentration and prognosis of advanced PDAC (183 patients) after at least two rounds of chemotherapy (between January 2012 and December 2013). Serum CA 19-9 concentrations were measured at baseline and eight weeks after the initiation of chemotherapy.

The researchers found that overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) were significantly longer for patients whose serum CA 19-9 concentration decreased more than 10 percent from baseline (103 patients) versus patients whose serum CA 19-9 did not decrease (80 patients; P < 0.001 for both OS and TTP). In both stage III and IV disease, CA19-9 decrement of more than 10 percent from baseline remained a significant factor for longer OS (hazard ratio for progression, 0.275; P < 0.001) and TTP (hazard ratio for progression, 0.322; P < 0.001), in multivariate analysis.

"The early decrement of CA 19-9 after the initiation of chemotherapy was an independent factor related [to] better survival outcomes in unresectable PDAC," the authors write.

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