Don’t routinely prescribe serum cancer markers during the diagnostic or staging procedures in cancer care.
The serum tumor markers are often required in an appropriate way as they need a simple blood sample. Given the high cost of each prescription tests and the high number of required tests it represents a considerable employment of resources; in addition it represents a source of anxiety for the patient in the case of a false positive result. Their inappropriate use in asymptomatic patients, in the presence of a test higher than normal, often require further diagnostic tests and medical and surgical inappropriate treatments. In diagnostic setting these markers can be considered only in well-defined types of malignancies, not particularly frequent (hepatocellular carcinoma, testicular tumors, pancreatic cancer). Tumour markers may be indicated only as therapy monitoring and follow-up of patients with ascertained diagnosis of neoplasia, only in the cases that are established by specific guidelines.
1. Guida all’uso clinico dei biomarcatori in Oncologia 2010”: Gion M, Trevison C, Pregno S, Aline S.C. F; Edizioni Biomedia.
2- Deliberazione Regione Liguria N. 1347 del 11/11/2011 “Indicazioni per la limitazione dell’uso diagnostico di alcuni biomarcatori tumorali.
3. NCCN Suppl, Vol 9 Suppl 5, version November 2011, NCCN Task Force report: evaluating the clinical utility of tumor markers in oncology. http://www.nccn.org/JNCCN/supplements/PDF/TumorMarkers_Task_Force_Report.full.pdf
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.