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Thyroid Research

, 3:10

First Online: 03 November 2010Received: 13 September 2010Accepted: 03 November 2010


IntroductionCalcitonin Ct and carcinoembrional antigen CEA are widely used as tumor markers for the post-operative follow-up of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma MTC.

In patients with elevated serum Ct and CEA their dynamics can be described by calculating the doubling time DT - the time, they need to double the serum concentration. Previous reports concluded that the Ct and CEA DT have prognostic value in MTC patients.

Patients and methodsWe retrospectively analyzed data of 70 MTC patients with elevated serum Ct or CEA. In total, doubling times were calculated and the DT of the less favorable marker was used to stratify the patients into the low- and high-risk group with the cut-off value of 2 years. The survival analysis was performed using Cox proportional hazard method.

ResultsThe doubling time < = 2 years of the less-favorable marker had significant prognostic impact for recurrence-free survival, HR = 2.61 1.43-4.71 and overall survival, HR = 8.99 3.51-23.04.

ConclusionsThe calcitonin and carcinembrional antigen doubling times of less than two years are negative prognostic factors for MTC recurrence-free and total survival in patients with persistent or recurrent disease. They may be used as predictive factors for more intensive search of disease localization in asymptomatic hypercalcitoninemia and for therapy choice in symptomatic disease.

List of abbreviationsMTCmedullary thyroid carcinoma

CEAcarcinoembrional antigen


DTdoubling time.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-6614-3-10 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Tomasz Gawlik - Andrea d-Amico - Sylwia Szpak-Ulczok - Aleksander Skoczylas - Elżbieta Gubała - Anna Chorąży - Kamil Go


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