Don’t ask for the determination of serum biomarkers like CEA, CA-125, HE4, CA-15.3, a-fetoprotein or CA-19.9 for the diagnosis of neoplastic disease in asymptomatic patients.

Type of practice

Laboratory tests

The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of these biomarkers are not sufficient to allow their use (diagnosis, screening, case-finding) in a population with a low prevalence of neoplastic diseases. Their use is recommended for the monitoring of the neoplasms that express the specific biomarker (Colon – rectal: CEA; Ovarian: CA-125 and / or HE4; Brest cancer: CA-15.3; Hepatocarcinoma: a-fetoprotein; Pancreatic: CA-19.9).


1. Sturgeon CM, Diamandis E Eds. LMPG. Use of Tumor Markers of Testicular, Prostate, Colorectal, Breast, and Ovarian Cancer. NACB 2009
2. Esposito E, Dorizzi RM. La risposta dei marcatori tumorali (indicatori di neoplasia). RIMeL/IJLaM 2005; 1(suppl): 82-7.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.