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  • CEA

CEA or Carcinoembryonic antigen is a structural glycoprotein. CEA is very useful in the differentation of pulmonary adenocarcinoma from mesothelioma. CEA is expressed in epithelial cell membranes and in the cytoplasm of the cells in almost all cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma. CEA is particularly useful in localisation of a tumour to the digestive system.

The staining pattern of CEA is Membraneous and Cytoplasmic as shown below.

Picture 1 – CEA positivity in Colon Carcinoma


CEA has several different applications. Below are a few examples.

Tumour or cell type

CEA + or -

Colorectal Adenocarcinoma


Medullary thyroid carcinoma


Breast Carcinoma


Prostate Carcinoma