Letters Colorectal cancer: a cautionary tale

CEA monitoring in colorectal cancer is not a waste of time

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4032 (Published 18 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4032
  1. David Mant, emeritus professor of general practice1,
  2. John Primrose, professor of surgery2
  1. 1University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK
  2. 2University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. david.mant{at}phc.ox.ac.uk

This “cautionary tale” about follow-up of patients after treatment of colorectal cancer drew attention to newly published data from a trial started in 1982 that showed “no hint of a survival advantage associated with knowledge of CEA [carcinoembryonic antigen].1 2 The article said: “The Follow-up After Colorectal Surgery (FACS) trial, recently published in JAMA, confirmed the lack of survival benefit, finding a higher death rate in patients who were intensively monitored.”3

As lead authors of the JAMA …

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