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Elevated Serum Chromogranin A Concentrations in Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma

ROBERT E. SOBOL, M.D.; DANIEL T. O'CONNOR, M.D.; JUDITH ADDISON, R.N.; KAREN SUCHOCKI, R.N.; IVOR ROYSTON, M.D.; and LEONARD J. DEFTOS, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by the American Cancer Society; grants AM 07048, AM 15888, AM 25604, and HL-25, 457 from the National Institutes of Health; Hybritech Incorporated; the American Heart Association; and the Veterans Administration. Dr. O'Connor is an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Robert E. Sobol, M.D.; VA Medical Center V111C, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive; San Diego, CA 92161.


San Diego, California


Ann Intern Med. 1986;105(5):698-700. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-105-5-698
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Serum chromogranin A concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay in patients with small-cell lung carcinoma were compared with values from healthy adults and patients with non-small-cell lung carcinoma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The mean (± SE) level was significantly higher (p ≤ 0.02) in patients with smallcell lung carcinoma (815 ± 290 ng/mL, n= 46) than in normal controls (123 ± 6 ng/mL, n= 20) or patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (169 ± 18 ng/mL, n= 39), lung adenocarcinoma (180 ± 22, ng/mL, n= 62), large-cell lung carcinoma (183 ± 23 ng/mL, n=18), or lung epidermoid carcinoma (203 ± 37 ng/mL, n= 78). The mean concentration in extensive-stage smallcell lung carcinoma (1155 ± 449 ng/mL, n= 29) was significantly greater (p=0.026) than in limited disease (234 ± 56 ng/mL, n=17). Elevated serum chromogranin A values were seen in 53% of patients with limited and 72% with extensive disease. Four patients originally classified as having non-small-cell lung carcinomas with raised chromogranin A levels were subsequently found to have mixed small-cell and non-small-cell tumors. Serum chromogranin A concentrations may be a useful marker of small-cell lung carcinoma disease activity.

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