The role of estimating the serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the diagnosis and prognosis of retinoblastoma cases has been evaluated. Although the mean serum CEA titre in children with retinoblastoma was higher than that in control children (p = 0.01), the serum CEA level itself was found not to be a useful marker in the diagnosis of retinoblastoma. A significant correlation of serum CEA titre with progression or regression of the disease observed during therapy in most cases indicated that serial assays of serum CEA may be important in the follow-up of cases with retinoblastoma. The lower CEA values in aqueous humour and subretinal fluid from eyes with retinoblastoma than in the serum suggests that the tumour does not secrete the CEA.
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