TESTING > OVARIAN MARKER CA-125
OVARIAN MARKER CA-125
- For monitoring disease progression of the ovarian cancer. Currently some physicians are recommending this cancer marker for screening for ovarian cancers.
- CA 125 is not entirely specific for tumors of the ovary. In some cases it will be moderately elevated in benign ovarian tumors as well.
- CA 125 is a 220 kD glycoprotein expressed by >80% of non-mucinous ovarian epithelial neoplasms. It is also expressed by other coelomic epithelial derivatives and other gynecologic neoplasms, and those of the pancreas, liver, colon, breast, and lung (in smaller percentages). It can also be detected in pregnancy, tubo-ovarian abscess, endometriosis, and benign teratomas (dermoids). Levels >65 IU/mL are associated with malignancy in >90% of cases with pelvic masses. CA 125 is most useful in monitoring progression or recurrence in cases of known ovarian carcinoma. For this purpose, levels >35 IU/mL may be significant; although a lower level does not replace a second-look operation. About 25% of patients have CA 125 level <35 IU/mL before a second look laparotomy despite the presence of residual tumor. However, some patients with negative second-look procedure reverted to a positive CA 125 within 1 month. Therefore, CA 125 remains a useful tool to follow these patients. However, if ovarian cancer is suspected, it is a good idea to perform this test together with the CA Profile©.
- Normal range is 1.9 – 16.3 U/mL.
Values obtained with different assay methods should not be used interchangeably.