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CEA Level - dying tumors/switch in drugs

Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

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's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

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's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

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.


Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

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's picture
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2006

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's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

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

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