Blood tumor markers have been widely employed in the last several decades to diagnose specific populations and track cancer’s dynamic changes. They also help treat many cancers, and research is still proving their efficacy. It can also aid in diagnosing cancer’s prognosis in individuals with advanced, extensive disease. (1)
The research into gastric cancer-related blood tumor indicators has come a long way in recent years. However, most of these studies have focused solely on the diagnostic value of these biomarkers. Among them, the most common indicators for diagnosing Gastric Cancer include carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), and CA72-4. In this article, we examine the possible function of Cancer Antigen 72-4 within the research available.
What are other tumor markers employed by doctors to help diagnose and treat? Read here in our dedicated article.
What are the most important signs for early identification of stomach cancer? Like other types of cancers, for many people, the grim reality is that gastric cancer (GC) is an unavoidable end. It’s the third deadliest kind of cancer overall and the fifth most prevalent tumor type. 70% or more of all new instances of stomach cancer occur in low- and middle-income nations, with over half of these cases occurring in eastern Asia, primarily China. Examination at an early stage is an efficient method for reducing the incidence and death of stomach cancer. This can be done mostly under a doctor’s recommendation of specific blood tests and tumor marker testing.
What Is Cancer Antigen 72-4.
CA72-4, also known as Cancer Antigen 72-4 and tumor-associated antigen 72, is a relatively new and specific tumor marker compared to CEA and CA19-9. It is a glycoprotein antigen with a large molecular weight that is absent in benign tumor tissues, bodily fluids, and normal tissues. However, it can be highly expressed in gastrointestinal cancers and gynecological cancers.
Dr. Jeffrey Schlom initially reported CA72-4 as a new antigen responsive to murine antibodies generated by mice-inoculated human metastatic mammary cancer cells in the early 1980s. Since the late 1980s, when monoclonal antibody testing first became available, additional identification methods have been developed that have made further discovery and identification of CA72-4 possible.
This serum marker has been acclaimed as a fantastic new diagnostic tool, especially in the treatment of patients with cancer. The positive rate of CA72-4 in gastric cancer ranges from 65% to 70%, and the amount of CA72-4 is highly connected with the stage of gastric cancer, increasing in stages iii to iv of the disease. The rate of CA72-4 positivity in patients with metastatic gastric cancer is much greater than in non-metastatic individuals.
What Else Can It Detect?
The findings of the cancer marker CA 72-4 are not only elevated in malignant conditions, as doctors know. CA 72-4 levels are measured and evaluated with other cancer indicators. Gastritis, ovarian cysts, and stomach lesions can all lead to elevated levels of some or all of these chemicals. Research-based studies suggest the following conditions in which there has been an increase in this marker.
- Gynecological causes: Cancers such as ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancer can be effectively diagnosed and predicted if a patient has an increased blood level of CA72-4. In addition, as research proves, CA 72-4 may be helpful in verifying the benign nature of ovarian endometriomas in women who present with elevated levels of CA 125. According to research, patients with ovarian cancers also had a 24% of which more than half had stage IV illness) raise in this marker in their blood.
- Esophageal cancers: When it comes to detecting esophageal and stomach cancer, CA 72-4 is a highly specific marker (100%) but only a moderately sensitive marker (18%, and 56%, respectively) when used alone. Using additional cancer markers increases gastric cancer sensitivity to 81% and esophageal cancer sensitivity to 74%.
- In Mild Gastric Conditions: Positive associations have been shown between cancer antigens 72-4 and the presence or absence of h. pylori infection, gastric ulcers, gastric polyps, and gastritis.
- Colorectal Cancer: Up to 40% of patients with colorectal cancer and 42.6% of patients with gastric cancer had elevated CA72-4 in their serum. These elevated levels are significantly connected with advanced disease stages.
- Lymph Nodes Involvement: Serum CA72-4 levels have been shown to correlate with lymph node metastases in patients with gastric cancer undergoing preoperative examination. In contrast, peritoneal fluid increases have been shown to correlate with later stages of illness.
- Lung Cancer: Patients with lung cancer showed almost 36% relative detectable amounts of CA72-4 in their blood.
- As a Help in Cancer Treatment Prognosis: When it comes to medical monitoring and arranging follow-up therapy for patients with gastrointestinal cancer, CA 72-4 is one of the finest markers available. It has also been used as a suitable marker in patients’ treatment monitoring and care planning. Some research suggests that serum CA72-4 can be utilized as an indicator of the effectiveness and prognosis of treatment for stomach cancer.
The following table represents the use of this antigen and its percentages, listing from the most to least.
|DISEASE||PERCENTAGE POSITIVITY OF CA 72.4|
Never draw conclusions about a patient’s prognosis based solely on a tumor marker test; instead, consider the results in the context of other diagnostic tests and the patient’s overall clinical picture.
Testing For Cancer Antigen 72-4.
Testing for this marker is usually carried out by blood sample. A lab technician will draw blood from your vein and this sample will be sent to the laboratory for further checking.
- The test is termed negative or normal when the CA 72-4 level is between 0 and 7 U/ml.
- If CA72-4 is over 7U/ml, cancer or any abnoramality might be present.
If the test returns positive, the next steps are to diagnose and treat the condition. Higher levels of this test indicate the presence of Gastric Cancer and poor response to treatment or recurrence. But don’t freak out; do what the doctor tells you to get the most out of your therapy.
It is not appropriate to draw conclusions about the accuracy of laboratory tests from a single numerical study. Each case requires its own unique interpretation based on the patient’s family history, clinical presentation, and other relevant laboratory tests and data. The significance of your test findings should be explained to you by your particular doctor.
Testing for CA72-4 has not been extensively used in the United States despite preliminary research suggesting the function of this tumor marker in the maintenance of advanced disease. Combining CA72-4 with CEA and CA19-9 has demonstrated good disease association in studies of Japanese and East Asian patients with gastrointestinal cancers, with a sensitivity of up to 74% without compromising specificity.
Other Tumor Markers for Gastric Cancer.
Gastric cancer is a severe tumor location due to late diagnosis. Clinically, the most common indicators for identifying gastric cancer are carcinoembryonic antigens such as CEA, CA19-9, and CA72-4.
- Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA): CEA is the most widely utilized marker in the clinical setting for GI cancer. The most common applications of CEA as a biomarker are in the areas of monitoring therapy for colorectal cancer and detecting recurrences after treatment. Overexpression was also observed in gastric, hepatic, lung, pancreatic, ovarian, and prostate adenocarcinomas, according to other research. Specificity for CEA ranges from 37% in early illness to 86% in late disease, making it a valuable tool for monitoring the progression of disease in patients with colon cancer.
Limiting its usefulness in early-stage cancer, CEA may also be raised in benign illnesses such inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and in smokers. Since the majority of individuals with GC will have elevated carcinoembryonic antigen levels at the latter stages of the disease, screening based only on this marker is ineffective.
- Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 (CA-19-9): Although CA19-9 is most often associated with colorectal cancer, it is present in many other cancers, most notably stomach and pancreatic tumors. Specificity for CA19-9 recurrence was 74%, while sensitivity was 56%, according to one study. It has also been proven that when CA19-9 was coupled with CEA, the sensitivity increased to 87%. Cancers of the esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, biliary tract, and pancreas have all been linked to increases in this antigen.
Gastric cancer research has occasionally focused on a wide variety of additional markers. The search for better gastric cancer screening biomarkers has persisted despite general dissatisfaction with the currently available ones. For a detailed research-based overview of what gastric cancer is and how we can prevent it from happening? Read our article.
Tumor biomarkers are essential for tracking treatment efficacy and keeping tabs on patients after receiving care for a wide range of gastrointestinal cancers. While tumor markers like CEA, CA19-9, and CA125 have been shown to have therapeutic utility, measuring CA72-4 is still deemed experimental and exploratory due to a lack of data to support FDA approval of it as a possible biomarker. Some improvements in CA72-roles 4’s throughout the years imply that it can still be regarded as a potential marker in oncology and in diagnosis.