Diabetes has been claimed to be a risk factor for pancreatic carcinoma, but it is probably a consequence of gland invasion from the neoplastic tissue. A link between diabetes and pancreatic carcinoma was suggested by means of biochemical markers of the diseases, namely glycated hemoglobin and CA19.9. Moreover, CA19.9 was proposed as a sensitive and useful marker of the severity of exocrine damage in diabetes, since the mucin decreased when metabolic compensation improved. We examined 64 diabetic patients (36 insulin dependent, 16 non insulin dependent, 12 treated with diet) by measuring CA19.9 using two different immunometric methods and glycemia and glycated hemoglobin. We observed that a correlation between CA19.9 and biochemical markers of metabolic compensation of diabetes was inexistent and no differences between insulin dependent and non insulin dependent patients were found. A high concentration of CA19.9 in a diabetic patient should be interpreted and evaluated in the same manner as for a non diabetic patient.
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