Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor-associated antigen first extracted from colon cancer and embryonic tissues by Gold and Freedman in 1965. It is an acidic glycoprotein with the characteristics of human embryonic antigen and exists in endoderm cells. The surface of differentiated cancer cells is a structural protein of the cell membrane. Formed in the cytoplasm, secreted outside the cell through the cell membrane, and then into the surrounding body fluids. Therefore, it can be detected from serum, cerebrospinal fluid, milk, gastric juice, pleural and ascites, urine, feces and other body fluids and excretions.
In the past, CEA was used as a specific marker for the early diagnosis of colon cancer and rectal cancer. After a lot of clinical practice, it was found that not only the CEA value of gastrointestinal malignant tumors can be increased, but also in the serum of breast cancer, lung cancer and other malignant tumors. rise. Therefore, carcinoembryonic antigen is a broad-spectrum tumor marker. Although it cannot be used as a specific indicator for the diagnosis of certain malignant tumors, it still has important clinical value in the differential diagnosis of malignant tumors, disease monitoring, and efficacy evaluation.
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