Topic: Concerns about tumor markers

I was recently diagnosed with PSC and subsequent CC.  A tumor was not found, just some abnormal cells that were malignant. I have since completed the 3 week radiation/ chemo treatment protocol here at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fl, had imaging studies and was put on the liver transplant waiting list a little more than three weeks ago.  I am taking Xeloda daily up until when I am called for transplant. 

Since then I have had blood work done and my CA-19 tumor marker was elevated to 101.  My oncologist told me that it was not necessarily reflective of the cancer and could be due to the radiation treatments I received.  He also said tumor size is considered to be more important than tumor markers. 

If my tumor markers remain elevated they will have to intensify my chemo.  I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences?  I am just worried that time could possibly become a negative factor while I am waiting for transplant, but the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has shown good success transplanting patients in a timely fashion. 

Is any of this cause for concern?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Trevor

Re: Concerns about tumor markers

Welcome Trevor, and congratulations for being considered for a transplant.  We have had several discussions on this subject, which you may peruse by using the google search function on the top right hand side of this page.  Regarding the tumor markers, I have learned and witnessed on this board, fluctuations of the CA19-9 may occur due to various reasons including, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  You may very well find your markers moving around without any indication of progression of this disease.  I am not a physician and am only passing on what I have learned, so far.  Others may be able to share more information with you.  In the meantime, I could not be happier for you and I wish for your transplant to happen real soon.   
Tons of good wishes are coming your way,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Concerns about tumor markers

Trevor,

I will second Marion's comments. Tumor markers need to be viewed as a relative statistic. Alone they only tell a partial story. Your eligibility for transplant speaks volumes - all good! During this period focus on your wellness plan as much as your treatment plan.

Bz

Re: Concerns about tumor markers

That is great news Trevor, we all wish you continued success with the transplant eligibility!! It was our experience with my Dad that the CA-19 tumor marker was just one of several diagnostic tools used to monitor his health, it did fluxuate in response to his chemo treatments, he never received radiation. As the others indicated- it tells just a portion of the story. Two other key factors of most significant interest to his oncologist,  included his bili levels and tumor size.

Wishing you all the best Trevor. Keep us posted!

Tess

Re: Concerns about tumor markers

Trevor
tumour markers ca19.9 of more then 200 and CEA elevation  and to gatather more then 400 is sensitivity of 87%  . there area many causes of  increase in CA19,9 Mostly because of panceratic causes.diabetic status . biliary infection spreading to pancreas  can take the count upto 100 and above. you just dont worry about one CA19.9 Keep monitoring the other things like tumour itself . Dr mahipal

Re: Concerns about tumor markers

About tumor markers: My onco says that the CA19-9 tests are useful to indicate trends over time. A single test doesn't tell you enough. I have mine done every 3 weeks, and they maintain a flow chart going back over the last 18 months.

Violarob in Texas