Correlation Between Bone Scintigraphy and Tumor Markers in Patients with Breast Carcinoma
Keywords:bone metastases, breast cancer, bone scintigraphy, Ca 15-3, CEA
A characteristic feature of many cancer types is their ability to metastasise to the skeleton. Bone is the most common site of metastatic invasion, after hematogenous spreading of breast cancer. Early detection of bone metastases is mandatory in the evaluation and management of these patients. Bone scintigraphy is commonly performed in detection and evaluation bone metastases. Tumor markers are present in healthy individuals as well as in patients with malignant diseases but in different concentration. Aim of study was to correlate serum levels of tumor marker Ca (15-3), CEA and presence of bone metastases detected by bone scintigraphy. Study included 25 patients with breast cancer, previously surgically treated. All patients underwent whole body scintigraphy. Ca (15-3) and CEA was measured by radioimmunoassay. Presence, number of bone metastases were correlated with Ca (15-3) and CEA levels. Median age of patients included in study was 50 varying from 30 to 67. Bone scintigraphy revealed bone metastases in 16 (64%) patients. A weak correlation was found between number of metastases and level of Ca (15-3) (r=0.139, p=0.254). Significant differences in Ca (15-3) level was found in patient with metastases compared to patients without metastases (chi square 0, p=1.0). Good correlation was found between number of metastases and serum level of CEA. Correlation between level of two tumor markers Ca (15-3) and CEA was a weak (r = 0.096 , p=0.323). Bone scintigraphy is a sensitive diagnostic toll for detecting breast cancer metastases to bone. Serum levels of tumor markes in isolation can not give complete accuracy about bone metastases.