Chromogranin A (CgA) is a non-specific biomarker excreted by neuroendocrine tumor (NET) cells. Elevation of circulating CgA level can be detected in gastroenteropancreatic (GEP)-NET patients and has been shown to correlate with tumor burden. The prognostic and predictive roles of CgA level and the change of CgA level are controversial. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed 102 grade 1/2 GEP-NET patients with available baseline or serial follow-up CgA levels from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital to evaluate the association between circulating CgA level and the tumor extent, overall survival (OS), and tumor response prediction. The baseline characteristics, baseline CgA level, and change of CgA level during follow-up and their association was analyzed. Sixty cases had baseline CgA levels available prior to any treatment and ninety-four cases had serial follow-up CgA levels available during treatment or surveillance. Baseline CgA levels were associated with stage and sex. Higher baseline CgA levels were associated with worse OS after adjusting for sex, stage, grade, primary site, and functionality (hazard ratio=13.52, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06-172.47, P=0.045). The cross-sectional analysis for the change of CgA level during follow-up showed that a ≥ 40% increase of CgA meant a higher probability of developing tumor progression or recurrence than those with a < 40% increase of CgA level (odds ratio=5.04, 95% CI, 1.31-19.4, P=0.019) after adjusting for sex, age, grade, stage, and functionality. Our study results suggest that CgA may be a predictive marker for tumor burden, OS, and tumor progression in GEP-NET patients.
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