Can a 1 point CEA rise per Month on irinotecan mean chemo not working? Irinotecan started in oct. Oct cea-8 Dec cea-9 Jan cea-10
No. CEA is a crude marker for recurrent or persistent tumor. It is only of value when a significant change occurs representing progression or response to therapy. It has no value as a diagnostic marker. To be significant a 10-20 point rise monthly for at least 3 months helps determine progression or not. A one point change is within lab error.
Tough question. CEA is a serum marker that can be used as an indicator of the overall amount of tumor in the body for certain types of cancer. Fluctuations of <25% are generally interpreted as being unchanged. Whether being unchanged is acceptable or not, depends on the goal of therapy (e.g. slow the progression of tumor, or to induce complete remission). The level might have gone much higher without therapy.
CEA. If CEA is being used as a marker to assess for effectiveness of treatment, any consistent rise in the CEA would suggest that further evaluation should be considered. This should be done with the managing oncologist. If there is a concern with the care being received, a face to face second opinion should be sought. Internet consultation would not be the best choice.