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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 685641, 9 pages
Review Article

Usefulness of Traditional Serum Biomarkers for Management of Breast Cancer Patients

Fondazione SDN IRCCS, Via E. Gianturco 113, 80143 Naples, Italy

Received 10 June 2013; Revised 6 September 2013; Accepted 9 September 2013

Academic Editor: Natasa Tosic

Copyright © 2013 Peppino Mirabelli and Mariarosaria Incoronato. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The measurement of serum tumor markers levels in breast cancer (BC) patients is an economic and noninvasive diagnostic assay frequently requested by clinical oncologists to get information about the presence or absence of disease as well as its evolution. Despite their wide use in clinical practice, there is still an intense debate between scientific organizations about the real usefulness for patient monitoring during followup as well as response to therapy evaluation in case of advanced BC. In this review, we want to highlight the current recommendations published by scientific organizations about the use of “established” BC serum markers (CEA, TPA, TPS, CIFRA-21, CA15-3, and s-HER2) in clinical oncology practice. Moreover, we will focus on recent papers evidencing the usefulness of tumor markers levels measurement as a guide for the prescription and diagnostic integration of molecular imaging exams such as those performed by hybrid 18-fluorofeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography with integrated computed tomography. This technology is nowadays able to detect early cancer lesions undetectable by conventional morphological imaging investigation and most likely responsible for increasing of serum tumor markers levels.