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Your Starting CEA?

peterz54's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

What was your starting CEA, and stage, prior to treatment?

My wife was diagnosed as Stage IV (50% liver and some lymph nodes involved) with a CEA of 1800 ng/ml. CEA dropped to 1200 after 1st chemo. these are very high values from what I gather.

So would like to know what others have seen, especially those of you who are stage IV.


sdp's picture
Posts: 181
Joined: Jan 2012

Mine was 900 plus

Sigmoid colon C with several mets to liver in all segments

Ct/ pet scan due on march 12 th after four rounds of FOLFOX +erbitux

Will let u know the results then

peterz54's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

I take it you must be KRAS wild type instead of mutant to be using erbitux as EGFR inhibitor. are you on Avastin as well as a VEGF inhibitor?

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008


I checked online at the hospital portal and these were my readings around the time of diagnosis and surgery. My CEA has run between 2.0 and 2.6 since the last reading noted here.

11/19/2008 283.6 ng/ml (Diagnosis)
12/8/2008 318.7 ng/ml (2 weeks after 1st treatment - FOLFOX)
1/12/2009 270.5 ng/ml (2 weeks after 2nd treatment - FOLFOX)
1/26/2009 164.0 ng/ml (2 weeks after 3rd treatment - FOLFOX)
2/9/2009 102.7 ng/ml (2 weeks after 4th treatment - FOLFOX)
2/20/09 Surgery: Liver resction, colon resection, HAI
3/9/2009 11.8 ng/ml
3/23/2009 5.6 ng/ml
3/23/2009 5.6 ng/ml
4/6/2009 3.7 ng/ml
4/20/2009 3.6 ng/ml
4/28/2009 3.1 ng/ml
5/4/2009 2.6 ng/ml
5/18/2009 2.4 ng/ml
6/1/2009 2.5 ng/ml


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

but is very sharp every time was higher than 4 there was a recurrence in there!

Posts: 72
Joined: Nov 2010

Wife's was 56 after diagnosis with 4cm tumor in ascending colon with 20 mets to liver. 28 after 5 rounds of Folfox, 5-8 after HAI pump and liver perfusion. 78 after HAI and Systemic stop. 3 - theee weeks after liver and aortic lymph node resections. Next draw next week.

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

At dx mine was 2.8 at stage111c 6/13 nodes. It has never been any higher and now sits at .05 or lower. That is why cea is not used for diagnoses just to try to confirm recurrence,Ron.

druidshadow's picture
Posts: 85
Joined: Feb 2012

my cea at start of this is unknown after the removal of 5 out of 6 feet of my colon and before any chemo was 56.1 ng/ml i have no clue wither that is high or how high it is or what ever but i have learned that besides the mets on my liver, one of which is 6.4 cm i also have a few bone mets not sure how many there either just like the liver the doc would not give me the exact numbers. but he is leave the hospital soon and i will have a new doc so we will see.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

150 after colorectal surgery. 34 after liver resection. 2. after all chemo. 3.5 years later 13.3. Hope it goes down.

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

I have no clue what mine was at diagnosis, although I am curious, I didn't have a clue what CEA was or the relevance back then. But, I don't think it was elevated as after all the tests and scans they did they really didn't suspect colon cancer at all, and I know with my first meeting with my onc. prior to surgery they were assuming it was ovarian. The blood work I had during chemo. I would ask for copies of and it would show my CEA, highest I've seen it 1.4, went to 1 then .8. I don't think it's a good marker for me. I'm stage 1V, mets to ovaries.

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

George was dignosed Stage IV, lots of large mets to liver and lungs. CEA when first measured was just uner 900 and now hovers around 14, lowest it has been in 3 years. It goes up and down and is generally tested every 4 to 6 weeks.

Take care - Tina

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Mine was low at dx 2.5 to 3 but stage 3.....Mets to lungs now and last cea in jan was 8. Next scan late April will get new cea then.

Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

mine was 30 before surgery
cc stage 3 10/11 lymph nodes infected
after surgery and since it has stayed under 3
but you never know

Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

Mine was 26 stage 2a RC cancer! It has been below 1.0 since surgery in 2010.

Posts: 26
Joined: Dec 2011

around 200 when diagnosed; over 30 two weeks after resection of part of colon and half lobe of liver; slowly to 4.4 now after 7 cycles of FOLFOX. PET/CT scan showed some highlighted area in liver after cycle 4; then no any trace from MRI/CT after cycle 5. NED with ultrasound test in a planned liver section and second surgery was cancalled. Not sure what is really happening inside.

Posts: 31
Joined: Jul 2011

Mine was 435 after surgery and then spiked to 675. It is now 2.7 after my 12 treatments

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

My CEA was 1125 before Chemo and 3 months after Chemo 3.86 months after 3.2. It is one of many factors to watch and not the end all. I had asked my onc what my cea was durning chemo and he asked me not to worry about it. After chemo he told me some patients cea can go very high and low when on chemo and he does not want patients to get excited about it if it rises. What is the end result is the important number.

Best Always, mike

peterz54's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

to all who responded.

I am trying to get an answer from LabCorp about the accuracy of their tests, and will also ask Quest Diagnostics who does most of my wife's CEAs. When I do I will post.

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

Normal errors can range + or -  up to 10%.   

SamT on Colon Club tests his own CEA every 2 weeks from one vial of blood using the Siemen's method. He has a PHD in Chemistry and many published papers. Over 50 liver tumors for about 7 years.  He said EVERY test varies by .5.  Same blood. Same Vial. Same machine. Him doing the test....... 

peterz54's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

duped again

Semira's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: Mar 2012

Thorsten startet with 95 before surgery. Now the cea ist down between 1 and 2....

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

I was diagnosed in October 2011 with metatastatic colorectal cancer. My liver is completely covered with cancer lesions. My starting CEA was somewhere in the high 500's. I started 2 weeks later with a chemo regimen, containing Oxaliplatin, Avastin and Xeloda. After half a year my CEA was down to 5. At that time my oncologist stopped the Oxaliplatin (due to accumulation of side effects) and had me only on Avastin and Xeloda until October 2012. At that time my CEA had jumped from 13 to about 140. I was put back on the Oxaliplatin. In January of 2013 I became highly allergic to the Oxaliplatin. 

I was now put on a regimen consisting of Irinotecan, Avastin and Xeloda. This was in February 2013. After 4 treatments I did not show any improvements. Just the opposite. My CEA had gone up to be over 500 again, liver metastases started to grow again. This meant that I did not respond to the current treatment regimen.

My oncologist decided to stop all chemo immediately and to put me on antibodies using Erbitux. I was told that Erbitux will only slow down cancer growth and eventually will help to remove the Irinotecan resistance. After now only 2 treatments with Erbitux my CEA dropped 300 points from the 500's to now 231. My oncologist said that this can happen but he has not seen it very often and that I am more an exception to the rule. I am scheduled for another CT Scan in mid June to see whether the success is not only in the numbers, but hopefully also can be seen by either shrinking or disappearing metastases.

Erbitux is working great for me. By the way I am KRAS wild.



Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Oliver. Welcome aboard. Sounds like you are having a great response to your current treatment. Hope it continues. Keep us posted! You should start a new thread and introduce yourself to the board. This might get passed by. Your situation sounds interesting. I'm sure others will want to "meet" you. Best of luck to you.


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I was DX stage IV a long time ago but my CEA has never risen above 8.4. I've also been Erbitux and Irinotecan for a very long time and have had very good success with it. It's a regimen my oncologist uses often and has had very good results with it.

Glad things are moving in the right direction...


Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

My CEA when I was dxed was 1.2.

Was stage 2 bordering on 3  Been NED over 2 yrs.

 Current CEA 0.9

ubcreative's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2013

before starting treatment in Jan mine was 740. After 5 rounds of chemo Oxy/Avistan/Xeloda I was 18. I'll find oDi if round 6 knocked it down any further this Tuesday.  

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

My first CEA was ordered by a gastro group I did not like. They never sent the results to my onc.  However, I do know it was not very high because the gastro said that the reading was a 'good sign'.

Prior to my liver resection, my CEA was 6.4. That was the highest we had ever recorded with the next highest being 4.4.  My lab uses 3.9 as high normal for a female/ non-smoker. 


Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012

My CEA prior to surgery was 54. Rectal tumor, 1 liver lesion and 12/23 positive lymph nodes. After surgery and since <0.5.

Posts: 61
Joined: Jul 2012

My husband was diagnosed stage iv with numerous Mets to liver and lungs.  Cea at dx was 3600.  After 6 mos of folfox down to 20.  Had some setbacks that postponed treatments and cea back to 97.  Got back on track fir treatments and last week it was 77.

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