Tumor marker of pancreas, gallbladder (CA 19-9)
Why this test?
- To monitor the effectiveness of pancreatic cancer treatment and to detect recurrences of the disease.
- To obtain information about the prevalence of the tumor process, the presence of distant metastases in pancreatic cancer.
- For the differential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with other diseases such as pancreatitis.
In what cases is it prescribed?
- Symptoms of pancreatic cancer: abdominal pain, nausea, weight loss, jaundice.
- To monitor the effectiveness of treatment and to detect recurrences in patients with pancreatic cancer who had an elevated level of CA 19-9 from the very beginning of the disease.
- When cancer of the liver, gallbladder or biliary tract, stomach, colon is suspected (in combination with other tumor markers).
Cancer antigen CA 19-9 is a high-molecular-weight glycoprotein is normally produced by epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Its level increases in almost all patients with tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, especially of the pancreas. It is produced by tumor cells and enters the bloodstream, which makes it an effective tumor marker and allows monitoring the course of the disease. The level of the tumor marker CA 19-9 is elevated in 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer. Its concentration can also increase in tumors of other localizations (colorectal cancer, cancer of the liver, stomach, gall bladder or biliary tract, ovaries), liver diseases (hepatitis, cirrhosis), gallstone disease, pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis. The CA 19-9 test is not used for the primary diagnosis of cancer, as it does not have sufficient sensitivity and specificity.