Sera from 14 normal subjects and 43 patients with colonic carcinoma were evaluated for the presence of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Inhibiting material which behaved in the assay in a similar manner to CEA was found in normal serum at concentrations below 2·8 ng/ml. Its nature has not so far been established. Thirty-eight of the 43 patients with colonic carcinoma showed levels of serum CEA in excess of 2·8 ng/ml. The concentration of CEA in serum was correlated with the extent of the disease as classified by a staging procedure similar to that of Dukes (1932). Examination of a small number of specimens of colonic carcinoma and normal colonic mucosa suggested that the concentration of CEA in different adenocarcinomata may vary, and that traces of cross-reacting material may be found in some normal mucosae.
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↵1 Supported by grant 5-TO-1-AM-05177 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, USPHS, by a grant from the Monroe County Cancer and Leukemia Association, by the General Research Support Grant, RR 05403, and Center Grant CA 11198 from the National Cancer Institute.