CEA Level - dying tumors/switch in drugs

jcavanaugh Member Posts: 100
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Question: My dad's cea went up 115 points in 17 days following switching to a new treatment (went from vextibux and campostar to erbitrux,campostar, and 5 fl - pump for 46 hours every other weekend). Can a large spike in cea a be connected to tumors dying? (oncologist mentioned this as a possible explanation) Can a large spike in cea be connected to the body's adjustment to new meds (oncologist also mentioned this)? Anyone heard of either?


  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928 Member
    Did they explain where the 16.8 number came from? I would request that they repeat the blood test to make sure what the real level is. That is a large jump but I wonder if it is accurate. Perhaps the lab screwed up or the doctor's office. Make them do it again.

  • sladich
    sladich Member Posts: 429 Member
    My CEA is not an indicator. I didn't know the CEA could go up that high. Is there a maximum it can go? It seems extremely high to me.

  • hopefulone
    hopefulone Member Posts: 1,043 Member
    When my husband first started chemo treatments, the oncologist mentioned that it was not unusual to see a rise in the cea level because cancer cells were dying and released into the system at a rapid rate. I don't know if that applies in your dad's case not, but I don't think it's far fetched to think it may. I hope this helps . God Bless, Diane
  • impactzone
    impactzone Member Posts: 551 Member
    My onc at Stanford also told me that it was often found that after initial treatment the CEA went up. Mine was 12 and went up to 21 before falling back under 1 after surgery for my liver met. It seems that the spike does correspond to tumor death if CEA is an indicator for you.
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    hummmmm, were both levels tested at the same facility, with the same pathologists? And, was the blood transported properly? I once had a wacky level because the vial was left in the lab's hot pickup van for 5 hours....sigh...the blood needed to be redrawn....

    Hugs, kathi