Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 181–187 | Cite as

Clinical Usefulness of Serum CYFRA 21–1 in Patients with Colorectal Cancer

  • Jai Hyuen Lee
Original Article



Among diverse tumor markers, pretreatment evaluation and follow-up detection of recurrence in colorectal cancer are generally evaluated by serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels. However, there have been some reports about the low accuracy and high false-positive results of CEA in colorectal cancer. We investigated the clinical utilities of CYFRA 21–1 by comparing CEA and cancer antigen 19–9 (CA 19–9) in pretreatment and recurrent colorectal cancer.


Using a solid-phase immunoradiometric assay, serum levels of CYFRA 21–1, CEA and CA 19–9 were analyzed in 132 patients with primary colorectal cancer, 124 healthy controls, 104 patients with benign colorectal disease and 19 patients with recurrent colorectal cancer. We determined three different cutoff values to evaluate the sensitivity of diagnostic performance in pretreatment and recurrent colorectal cancer.


CYFRA 21–1 (≥ 1.13 ng/ml) had a sensitivity of 47 %, compared with 37 % for CEA (≥ 3.05 ng/ml) and 32.6 % for CA 19–9 (≥ 23.1 ng/ml) in the initial staging of primary colorectal cancer. Using different cutoff values, CYFRA 21–1 showed higher sensitivity for pretreatment colorectal cancer than CEA and CA 19–9 in adenocarcinoma and adenosquamous carcinoma of this study. A mildly significant correlative relationship was noted between Dukes’ stages and three tumor markers (p < 0.01). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves of CYFRA 21–1, CEA and CA 19–9 were 0.81 ± 0.03, 0.74 ± 0.03 and 0.62 ± 0.04, respectively, for discriminating colorectal cancer patients from patients with benign colorectal disease. In addition, CYFRA 21–1 was determined as the most sensitive tumor marker for evaluating recurrent colorectal cancer for all cutoff values.


This study showed that CYFRA 21–1 could be a useful and dependable tumor marker for pretreatment and recurrent colorectal cancer. Further prospective studies on its usefulness with respect to the prognosis and utility of combined tumor markers are needed.


Colorectal cancer CYFRA 21–1 CEA and CA 19–9 



The present research was conducted by the research fund of Dankook University in 2012.

Conflicts of Interest



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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineDankook University Medical CollegeCheonanRepublic of Korea

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