Carcinoembryonic antigen

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carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 5
Identifiers
Symbol CEACAM5
Alt. Symbols CEA
Entrez 1048
HUGO 1817
OMIM 114890
RefSeq NM_004363
UniProt P06731
Other data
Locus Chr. 19 q13.1-13.2

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein involved in cell adhesion. It is normally produced during fetal development, but the production of CEA stops before birth. Therefore, it is not usually present in the blood of healthy adults, although levels are raised in heavy smokers.

Pathophysiology

CEA and related genes make up the CEA family belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. In humans, the carcinoembryonic antigen family consists of 29 genes, 18 of which are normally expressed. [2]

Historical perspective

CEA was first identified in 1965 by Phil Gold and Samuel O. Freedman in human colon cancer tissue extracts.[3] It was found that serum from individuals with colorectal, gastric, pancreatic, lung and breast carcinomas had higher levels of CEA than healthy individuals.

Diagnosis

CEA measurement is mainly used as a tumor marker to identify recurrences after surgical resection. Elevated CEA levels should return to normal after surgical resection, as elevation of CEA during follow up is an indicator of recurrence of tumour.

Differential Diagnosis

In alphabetical order. [4] [5]

Increased

References

  1. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  2. Hammarstrom S. The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) family: structures, suggested functions and expression in normal and malignant tissues. Semin Cancer Biol 1999;9:67-81. PMID 10202129.
  3. Gold P, Freedman SO. Demonstration of tumor-specific antigens in human colonic carcinomata by immunological tolerance and absorption techniques. J Exp Med 1965;121:439. PMID 14270243.
  4. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  5. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X

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