Open Access Articles- Top Results for CA19-9


CA19-9 (carbohydrate antigen 19-9, also called cancer antigen 19-9[1] or sialylated Lewis (a) antigen) is a tumor marker[2] that is used primarily in the management of pancreatic cancer. CA19-9 is an antibody that binds to the tumor surface marker Sialyl-Lewis A.[3]


CA19-9 was discovered in the serum of patients with colon cancer and pancreatic cancer in 1981.[4]


Guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology discourage the use of CA19-9 as a screening test for cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer. The reason is that the test may be falsely normal (false negative) in many cases, or abnormally elevated in people who have no cancer at all (false positive). The main use of CA19-9 is therefore to see whether a pancreatic tumor is secreting it; if that is the case, then the levels should fall when the tumor is treated, and they may rise again if the disease recurs.[5]

In people with pancreatic masses, CA19-9 can be useful in distinguishing between cancer and other diseases of the gland.[1][6]


CA19-9 can be elevated in many types of gastrointestinal cancer, such as colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma.[1] Apart from cancer, elevated levels may also occur in pancreatitis, cirrhosis,[1] and diseases of the bile ducts.[1][6] It can be elevated in people with obstruction of the bile ducts.[6]

In patients who lack the Lewis antigen (a blood type antigen on red blood cells), which is about 10% of the Caucasian population, CA19-9 is not expressed,[6] even in those with large tumors.[5] This is because of a deficiency of a fucosyltransferase enzyme that is needed to produce CA19-9 as well as the Lewis antigen.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Perkins, G.; Slater, E.; Sanders, G.; Prichard, J. (2003). "Serum tumor markers". American family physician 68 (6): 1075–1082. PMID 14524394.  edit
  2. CA-19-9 Antigen at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  3. Magnani, JL (15 June 2004). "The discovery, biology, and drug development of sialyl Lea and sialyl Lex.". Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 426 (2): 122–31. PMID 15158662. doi:10.1016/ 
  4. Koprowski H, Herlyn M, Steplewski Z, Sears HF (1981). "Specific antigen in serum of patients with colon carcinoma". Science 212 (4490): 53–5. PMID 6163212. doi:10.1126/science.6163212. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Locker G, Hamilton S, Harris J, Jessup J, Kemeny N, Macdonald J, Somerfield M, Hayes D, Bast R (2006). "ASCO 2006 update of recommendations for the use of tumor markers in gastrointestinal cancer". J. Clin. Oncol. 24 (33): 5313–27. PMID 17060676. doi:10.1200/JCO.2006.08.2644. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Goonetilleke KS, Siriwardena AK (April 2007). "Systematic review of carbohydrate antigen (CA 19-9) as a biochemical marker in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer". Eur J Surg Oncol 33 (3): 266–70. PMID 17097848. doi:10.1016/j.ejso.2006.10.004. 

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