False elevation of tumor marker levels (TM) has been encountered in some postsurgical breast cancer patients.
We investigated 33 postsurgical breast cancer patients whose TM (CEA, CA15-3, NCC-ST-439, or BCA225) measured every 3 months, showed elevation 3 times in a row in a 6-month period, and in whom metastases were not detected at the end of the 6-month period. Nine patients developed recurrence within 36 months of the end of the 6-month period and 24 patients did not develop recurrence for more than 36 months after the end of the 6-month period.
Seven patients who stopped treatment with oral 5-FU or its derivatives because of severe nausea and appetite loss did not develop recurrence. Normalization of TM (CEA, NCC-ST-439, or BCA225) manifested within 3 months of the interruption of the medication. Six patients who showed simultaneous increase in serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (sGPT) and TM (CEA or BCA225) in the initial 6 months did not develop recurrence. Three of 6 patients did not take any anti-cancer drugs. Correlation coefficiencies of sGPT with CEA in 4 patients were 0.467, 0.569, 0.738, and 0.910 and those of sGPT with BCA225 in 3 patients were 0.663, 0.826, and 0.840.
A false-positive increase in CEA, NCC-ST-439 or BCA225 might be caused by treatment with oral 5-FU or its derivatives. CEA or BCA225 elevates false-positively in patients with high sGPT levels.
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Asanuma, K., Hama, Y., Kobayashi, S. et al. Tumor marker levels elevate false-positively in postsurgical Breast Cancer patients with high sgpt levels or with receiving oral 5-FU or its derivatives. Breast Cancer 6, 181–186 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02967165
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