Determination of cancer antigen 125 in ovarian carcinoma
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Appropriate therapeutic measures can improve the life expectancy of patients with ovarian malignancy. There has been a pressing need for serodiagnostic assays to enable, the close patient monitoring. Cancer Antigen 125 (CA125) has been described as a useful marker in patient monitoring for ovarian malignancy. Keeping this in view, the present study was planned. 40 consecutive female patients of ovarian carcinoma (mean age 52.4±10.7 years) were selected for serum CA125 analysis during the period of year 1995–2001. The tumour marker concentration was compared with histologic types of ovarian tumour and the FIGO staging of the disease. 25 healthy females (mean age 35.2–10.4 years) served as control. Mean serum CA125 concentrations in patients with papillary serous adenocarcinoma(Mean±%CV 1571±121.5 U/ml) was much higher than patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma(775±78U/ml). Mean serum CA125 concentration in endometrioid carcinoma was very high(2853±136 U/ml). The patient with clear cell carcinoma however had shown moderate increase(60 U/ml). No correlation was found between serum CA125 concentration and the FIGO staging of disease.
Quantitation of CA125 was most helpful in monitoring the response of treatment and followup of the patients after completion of their treatment. Posttherapeutically its concentration showed more than 50% reduction in almost all (91.4%) patients (P<0.001). Importantly these patients had also shown significant regression of the disease clinically and radiologically. 8.6% of patients had shown static or increase in serum CA125 concentration which was associated with either clinically static or progressive disease. Recurrence of the disease was noted in patients who had shown increase in serum CA125 concentration (biochemical recurrence) in the followup
However, in our test population biochemical recurrence(increase in serum marker concentration) preceded the clinical or radiological recurrence by an average of 6.5 months.
Kaplan meier survival analysis for evaluation of overall survival in our test subjects showed an overall survival of 32% at one year and median survival of 9 months with confidence interval of 6.34 to 11.66. We conclude that serum CA125 is a useful marker for monitoring the treatment and predicting an early recurrence of the disease in ovarian carcinoma patients. A study in larger number of patients is needed to define its exact role in the management of the carcinoma ovary.
Key wordsSerum CA125 Epithelial tumour Ovarian Carcinoma
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