The aim of the study was to evaluate the utility of the measurements of the circulating tumor markers, squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA), CA125, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), cytokeratin fragment 19 (CYFRA 21.1), and the cytokines, interleukin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), to estimate regional lymph node involvement in patients with cervical cancer. The study comprised 182 untreated patients with cervical cancer. The regional lymph node status was assessed either by the postsurgical histopathologic examination or by the computed tomography (CT). Concentrations of SCCA, CEA, and CA125 were determined using the Abbott Instruments system, of CYFRA 21.1 by the Roche kits, and of IL-6 and VEGF by the ELISA of R&D Systems (Minneapolis, MN). For the statistical analyses, Mann–Whitney U test and χ2 test were applied. Serum levels of SCCA, CEA, CA125, CYFRA 21.1, IL-6, and VEGF were measured in patients with specified pelvic and para-aortic lymph node status. SCCA, CA125, and IL-6 levels were found to be significantly higher in patients with lymph node metastases than in those with no lymph node involvement. Also, the percentage of patients with simultaneously elevated concentrations of SCCA and CA125 or SCCA and IL-6 differed depending on the lymph node status and was significantly higher in the series of patients with lymph node metastases. Simultaneous assessment of serum levels of SCCA and CA125 or SCCA and IL-6 in patients with cervical cancer may be useful for the regional lymph node evaluation, especially in patients with advanced stages, when the lymph nodes are examined only by CT, with no histologic confirmation.
- cervical cancer
- lymph node metastases
- tumor marker
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