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Unformatted text preview: BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL 24 MARCH 1979 777 those hospitals in Great Britain where endoscopy is freely available. The procedure often facilitates an earlier decision on surgery and enables unnecessary laparotomy to be avoided. There can be few diagnostic techniques forwhich such strong claims could be made. Costings of endoscopy and laparotomy were provided by Mr R Hull, SheffieldArea Health Authority Treasurer's Department. Requests forreprintsshould be sent to Dr R A Dixon. References I Hoare, A M, British Medical_Journal, 1975, 1,27. 2 Dronfield, M W, etal,Lancet, 1977, 1,1167. 3 Diem, K, and Lentner, C, editors, Documenta Geigy Scientific Tables, 7thedn,p 97.Macclesfield, Geigy, 1970. 4 Mead, G M, etal,British Medical_Journal, 1977, 1,1460. Barnes, R J,etal,BritishMedicalJ'ournal,1974,4,214. 6Fisher,JA, etal,BritishMedicalJournal, 1977,2, 1199. (Accepted 25,January 1979) Carcinoembryonic antigeninbreast-cancertissue: a useful prognosticindicator S SHOUSHA, T LYSSIOTIS, V M GODFREY, P J SCHEUER British MedicalyJournal, 1979, 1,777-779 Summary and conclusions Sections ofbreast carcinomas removed from 69patients six to 13 years previously were examined using an immunoperoxidase technique to determine whether carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was present. Patients who had CEA-negative tumours had significantlyhigher five- and 10-year survival rates. The difference was not related to the stage of the disease, postoperative treat- ment, or histological type oftumour. These results suggest that immunohistological assess- ment ofCEA in breast-cancer tissue may provide more precise prognostic information. Introduction Recently' we found a positivecorrelationbetween the presence of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in sections of breast carcinomas and the presence of lymph-node metastases. This Department ofHistopathology, Charing Cross Hospital and School of Medicine, London W6 8RF S SHOUSHA, MD, MRCPATH, senior lecturerand honorary consultant Department ofHistopathology, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London NW3 2QG T LYSSIOTIS, MD, researchfellowand honorary lecturer V M GODFREY, medical student P J SCHEUER, MD, FRCPATH, professorofclinicalhistopathology further study was carried out retrospectively on a group of patients who had been followed up forsixto 13 years afterthe surgicalremoval oftheirtumours. Patients and methods We included inthe study 69 patients who presented atthe Royal FreeHospitalduring 1965-72withbreastcarcinomaandweretreated by mastectomy. Patients who were losttofollow-up or were known to have died from causes not related tothe tumour were excluded. The first 55 patients were chosen randomly. We later included 14 consecutive patients without evidence of metastatic disease at the time ofmastectomy to permit useful statisticalcomparison between patientsinthesame, early,stageofthedisease....
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