Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1999; 23(2):116-122.

Mucosal Expression of Carcinoembryonic Antigen 19-9 in Patients with Gastritis and Gastric Cancer

Giuseppe Esposito, Ph.D.,a Alfonso Tempesta, M.D.,b Maria Giulia Galati, Ph.D.,a Mario de Bellis, M.D.,b Giovanni Battista Rossi, M.D.,b Maria I. Potena, B.S.,a Pietro Marone, M.D.,b Bruno Daniele, M.D., Ph.D.,c and Silvana Del Vecchio, M.D.d

a Ria Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine, b Endoscopy Unit, and c Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Institute and G. Pascale Foundation, Naples, Italy; and d Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, University Federico II, Naples, Italy

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Bruno Daniele, MD PhD, Divisione di Oncologia Medica B, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Fondazione G. Pascale, Via Mariano Semmola, 80131 Napoli, Italy.

ABSTRACT: Sixty-eight patients (45 males, 23 females) were studied in order to assess the usefulness of mucosal tissue concentrations of both carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) in detecting patients at high risk for gastric cancer. CEA and CA19-9 were assayed on cytosol obtained from multiple endoscopic biopsies of 41 patients with chronic superficial gastritis, 18 with chronic atrophic gastritis, and 9 with gastric cancer. Mucosal tissue concentrations of both CEA and CA19-9 increased from chronic superficial gastritis to chronic atrophic gastritis and to gastric cancer (p = 0.005 and p = 0.002, respectively). Mucosal CEA levels in patients with intestinal metaplasia (IM) were significantly higher than in nonmetaplastic mucosa (p = 0.04). Epithelial dysplasia was associated with higher, though not significant, tissue concentrations of both CEA and CA19-9 when compared with IM. Finally, a correlation between serum levels and tissue concentrations was observed only for CA19-9 (Pearson's correlation coefficient = 0.7). In conclusion, these data indicate that gastric mucosa of patients with chronic atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia express high levels of both CA19-9 and CEA.

KEY WORDS: chronic atrophic gastritis, dysplasia, intestinal metaplasia, precancerous conditions, tumor markers.

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