Significance of serum tumor marker levels in peritoneal carcinomatosis of appendiceal origin

Patrick L. Wagner, Frances Austin, Magesh Sathaiah, Deepa Magge, Ugwuji Maduekwe, Lekshmi Ramalingam, Heather L. Jones, Matthew P. Holtzman, Steven A. Ahrendt, Amer H. Zureikat, James F. Pingpank, Herbert J. Zeh, David L. Bartlett, Haroon A. Choudry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: The significance of tumor markers in patients with appendiceal carcinomatosis is poorly defined. We determined preoperative and postoperative tumor marker levels in patients undergoing cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) and examined their association with clinicopathologic features and survival. Methods: A total of 176 patients undergoing attempted CRS/HIPEC for appendiceal carcinomatosis had at least 1 tumor marker measured. Marker levels were correlated with tumor characteristics and oncologic outcomes. Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariate Cox regression models were used to identify prognostic factors affecting progression and survival. Results: At least 1 marker was elevated prior to CRS/HIPEC in 70 % of patients (CEA, 54.1 %; CA19-9, 47.7 %; CA-125, 47.2 %). Among patients with elevated preoperative marker levels, normalization occurred postoperatively in 79.4 % for CEA, 92.3 % for CA19-9, and 60 % for CA-125. Absolute preoperative tumor marker levels correlated with peritoneal carcinomatosis index (PCI) (p <.0002), and the number of elevated markers was associated with PCI and progression-free survival (PFS). Elevated postoperative CEA level was associated with decreased PFS (median, 13 vs 36 months, p =.0008). On multivariate Cox regression analysis, elevated preoperative CA19-9 was associated with shorter PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 2.9, 95 % confidence interval [95 % CI] 1.5-5.3, p =.0008), whereas elevated CA-125 was associated with shorter overall survival (HR 2.6, 95 % CI 1.3-5.4, p =.01). Conclusions: Most patients with appendiceal carcinomatosis will have at least 1 elevated tumor marker and will normalize following CRS/HIPEC, allowing for ongoing surveillance. CA19-9 is a promising biomarker for early progression following CRS/HIPEC, whereas CA-125 is associated with shorter survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-514
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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