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Clinical Utility of CA-125 for Maintenance Therapy in the Treatment of Advanced Stage Ovarian Carcinoma
  1. John P. Micha, MD*,
  2. Bram H. Goldstein, PhD*,
  3. Mark A. Rettenmaier, MD*,
  4. John V. Brown, MD*,
  5. Cameron R. John, PhD and
  6. Maurie Markman, MD
  1. * Gynecologic Oncology Associates, Hoag Cancer Center, Newport Beach, CA;
  2. Utah Valley University, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Orem, UT; and
  3. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bram H. Goldstein, PhD, Gynecologic Oncology Associates, 351 Hospital Rd, Suite 507, Newport Beach, CA 92663. E-mail: bram{at}


Abstract Maintenance therapy has been extensively studied to discern any prospective therapeutic advantage in the treatment of advanced stage ovarian carcinoma. The CA-125 assay may have prognostic benefit in determining whether this treatment regimen is appropriate for ovarian carcinoma patients who achieve a complete response to first-line therapy. We retrospectively documented the CA-125 levels of 2 advanced ovarian cancer patient groups who exhibited a clinically defined complete response to their primary induction therapy. Patients were then treated with a paclitaxel-based maintenance therapy regimen. The first group (group A; n = 13 patients) received 3 cycles of single-agent paclitaxel maintenance therapy, and the second group (group B; n = 13 patients) received 12 cycles of single-agent paclitaxel maintenance therapy. The premaintenance therapy CA-125 serum levels (<10 or ≥10 U/mL) of the 2 treatment groups were then retrospectively evaluated in an intragroup analysis to discern any relationship with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival. There was a statistically significantly relationship between the CA-125 levels (<10 U/mL) premaintenance therapy and PFS. The patients who had the lowest CA-125 levels exhibited the most favorable PFS results. Despite the limited sample size and nonrandomized nature of this study, these results are provocative and suggest that advanced ovarian cancer patients who achieve an excellent response to primary platinum-based chemotherapy with a CA-125 serum level less than 10 U/mL may be more amenable to the benefits of paclitaxel maintenance therapy.

  • CA-125
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Maintenance therapy

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