The utilization pattern of serum tumor markers in lung cancer patients: A population-based retrospective descriptive study

Lung Cancer

Wang H, et al. J Clin Lab Anal 2020.


BACKGROUND: The trends in usage of tumor markers, including CEA, SCC, NSE, Cyfra21-1, and ProGRP, in Chinese lung cancer patients in the real-world setting are not fully investigated.

METHODS: A retrospective descriptive study was conducted using the database of Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, China between January 2013 and December 2017, involving patients primarily diagnosed with NSCLC or SCLC. Utilization trends by first discharge year, utilization rates within different durations before and after first discharge date, and combined utilization patterns of multiple tumor markers were analyzed.

RESULTS: The utilization of all these tumor markers showed increased from 2013 to 2017. CEA, Cyfra21-1, and NSE were the most frequently detected, which increased slightly from around 50% in 2013 to around 78% in 2017 in NSCLC and from around 70% in 2013 to around 92% in 2017 in SCLC. CEA, Cyfra21-1, and NSE were the most commonly measured within 3 months before first diagnosis with approximately 65% in NSCLC and 80% in SCLC, and ProGRP had the lowest utilization (around 30%). CEA, NSE, and Cyfra21-1 had the highest utilization rates after first diagnosis with both around 80% in NSCLC or SCLC. Combined usage of five tumor markers was ranked the first pattern in combined utilization.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests CEA, Cyfra21-1, and NSE are the most frequently detected before or after first diagnosis of NSCLC or SCLC. However, SCC and ProGRP tests appeared to have relatively low usages. The utilization pattern was consistent with recommendations of guideline, but underutilization still existed.