CA125 is currently the most widely used tumor marker for ovarian epithelial cancer. The aim of this article is to provide guidelines for the routine clinical use of CA125 in patients with ovarian cancer. Due to lack of sensitivity for stage I disease and lack of specificity, CA125 is of little value in the detection of early ovarian cancer. At present, therefore, CA125, either alone or in combination with other modalities, cannot be recommended for screening for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women outside the context of a randomized controlled trial. Preoperative levels in postmenopausal women, however, may aid the differentiation of benign and malignant pelvic masses. Serial levels during chemotherapy for ovarian cancer are useful for assessing response to treatment. Although serial monitoring following initial chemotherapy can lead to the early detection of recurrent disease, the clinical value of this lead-time is unclear. CA125 is the ovarian cancer marker against which new markers for this malignancy should be judged.
- European Group on Tumor Markers (EGTM)
- ovarian cancer
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