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Preoperative discrimination between ovarian carcinoma, non-ovarian gynecological malignancy and benign adnexal masses using serum levels of CA125 and the polymorphic epithelial mucin antigens CASA, OSA and MSA
  1. M. A. Mcguckin*,
  2. L. E. Ramm*,
  3. G. J. Joy*,
  4. K. E. Free and
  5. B. C. Ward*,
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
  2. Department of Gynecological Oncology, University of Queensland, Clinical Sciences Building, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia
  1. Address for correspondence: Bruce G. Ward, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Queensland, Clinical Sciences Building, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia.


Serum levels of the tumor associated antigens CA125, CASA, OSA and MSA were determined preoperatively in a non-consecutive series of patients with: invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (OC, n = 87), ovarian tumors of low malignant potential (LMP, n = 9), benign adnexal masses (BAM, n = 48) and other peritoneal and pelvic malignancies (n = 48). In addition, serum levels of CASA, OSA, and MSA were determined in 3477 asymptomatic well women. Ninety-eight percent of the asymptomatic women had CASA levels < 6.0 U ml−1, OSA levels < 5.5 U ml−1 and MSA levels < 80.0 U ml−1. Serum CA125 levels were> 35 U ml−1 in 89% of OC, in 44% of LMP, and in 23% of BAM. Serum CASA levels were> 6.0 U ml−1 in 58% of OC, in 0% of LMP, and in 0% of BAM. Serum OSA levels were> 5.5 U ml−1 in 61% of OC in 0% of LMP and in 4% of BAM. Serum MSA levels were> 80.0 U ml−1 in 56% of OC, in 11% of LMP, and in 10% of BAM. When cut-off levels were set to exclude all patients with BAM, the best discrimination from OC using a single assay was achieved using CASA (58%). However, a combination of CASA and CA125 gave positive levels in 69% of OC at levels which precluded BAM. All markers were also elevated in some colon cancers, cervical cancers, uterine cancers and other peritoneal malignancies. A combination of CA125 and CASA levels, obtained preoperatively may assist the general gynecologist in avoiding potentially difficult oncologic surgery.

  • benign gynecological disease
  • CA125
  • ovarian cancer
  • polymorphic epithelial mucin
  • tumor associated antigen.

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