Emerging role and targeting of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CEACAM6) in human malignancies

Benny Johnson, Daruka Mahadevan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CEACAM6) is a member of the CEA family of cell adhesion proteins that belong to the immunoglobulin superfamily. CEACAM6 is normally expressed on the surface of myeloid (CD66c) and epithelial surfaces. Stiochiomertic expression of members of the CEA family (CEACAM1, 5, 6, 7) on epithelia maintains normal tissue architecture through homo-and hetero-philic interactions. Dysregulated over-expression of CEACAM6 is oncogenic, is associated with anoikis resistance and an invasive phenotype mediated by excessive TGFβ, AKT, FAK and SRC signaling in human malignancies. Methods: Extensive literature review through PubMed was conducted to identify relevant preclinical and clinical research publications regarding CEACAM6 over the last decade and was summarized in this manuscript._Results: CEACAM5 and 6 are over-expressed in nearly 70% of epithelial malignancies including colorectal cancer (CRC), pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), hepatobiliary, gastric, breast, non-small cell lung and head/neck cancers. Importantly, CEACAM6 is a poor prognostic marker in CRC, while its expression correlates with tumor stage, metastasis and post-operative survival in PDA. CEACAM6 appears to be an immune checkpoint suppressor in hematologic malignancies including acute lymphoblastic leukemia and multiple myeloma. Several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies or antibody fragments targeting CEACAM6 have been designed and developed as a targeted therapy for human malignancies. A Llama antibody targeting CEACAM6 is being evaluated in early phase clinical trials. Conclusion: This review focuses on the role of CEACAM6 in the pathogenesis and signaling of the malignant phenotype in solid and hematologic malignancies and highlights its potential as a therapeutic target for anti-cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Cancer Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • AKT
  • Anoikis resistance
  • Cell adhesion
  • FAK
  • IGF-1R
  • SRC
  • TGFβ
  • Therapeutic antibodies
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Cancer Research


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