Oncomarker CA 242: indications, interpretation of the norm and enhancement

The CA-242 oncomarker is a protein-carbohydrate compound released by the cells of the digestive system. In cancerous formations a large amount of protein is formed. Therefore, it is used for diagnostic purposes.

Specificity is that it becomes more only in malignant formations. In benign neoplasms, the indices do not change or their insignificant increase occurs.

CA-242 was first obtained in 1985 in the process of immunization of mice. An epitope is part of an antigen recognized by immunity. The cell is located on the same macromolecule as the other markers.

Values ​​of the CA 242

oncomarker No marker produces a 100% result, so often a combination is used. For example, antigens СА-242 and REA are studied for the detection of malignant gastric pathologies.

Depending on the likely site of origin, CA 19-9, Tu M2-RK are additionally assigned.

An increase in indicators does not always indicate the development of oncology. An increase in CEA, for example, indicates pathological processes taking place in the liver( cirrhosis, Crohn's disease).

The detection of the marker is assigned as the primary and secondary method. In the latter case, the main diagnostic measures are the clinical and laboratory methods of investigation.

Indications for

There are situations when the analysis is mandatory. Then the values ​​are given special attention.


  1. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer( skin discoloration, abdominal pain giving to the shoulder);
  2. There are malignant neoplasms in the anamnesis. Then the study is assigned to monitor the condition.
  3. Suspected the development of malignant cells in the large intestine.

The determination of the antigen level is relevant in the early diagnosis of cancer, to monitor the appropriateness of the intended treatment, as well as to determine metastases in internal organs.

How do I take a blood test?

The main method is enzyme immunoassay( ELISA).For the study, blood from the vein is taken.

For reliable results it is recommended to take it in the morning.

Then the blood is taken 8-12 hours after the last meal. On the eve it is necessary to exclude sweet tea or coffee with sugar. It is better to replace them with ordinary water.

Despite the absence of any preventive action the day before the procedure, eliminate fatty foods. This is due to the fact that a large number of fats and their increase in blood leads to changes in indices.

Explanation of the

The method is highly specific, so it is possible to predict the development of cancer or the occurrence of relapses. Based on the results, the doctor prescribes preventive treatment, reducing the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome.

The test results are ready in one day .

The norm of the CA 242

CA-242 oncomarker should not be more than 20 units / ml.

If this value is increased slightly, the patient is sent for a comprehensive study to confirm the diagnosis.

A slight increase in indices is due to the presence of inflammatory ailments of the gastrointestinal tract, with benign formations.

If the indicator is 0, then the doctor can say with a high degree of probability that there are no tumors in the intestine and pancreas. If data rushes to 20, additional diagnostic measures are assigned.

Low values ​​indicate both the success of the treatment and the risk of relapse.


Slight increase in CA-242 - may be a sign of other diseases of the bile duct, stomach, liver, rectum.

If the increase in antigen concentration is high, the doctor makes suspicion about:

  • colorectal cancer,
  • oncological stomach disease,
  • pancreatic malignancy.

The level depends on the stage of the pathological process: the higher the indices, the later the stage of cancer.

If there is a suspicion of oncology of the colon and rectum, then the sensitivity of the CA-242 is higher than that of other oncomarkers. However, its joint use with CA 19-9 does not increase the diagnostic significance of the survey.

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