Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) was measured in 17 patients with ovarian carcinoma before their primary operation and during the first week after surgery. The purpose was to correlate the change in the antigen level with the patient's survival. Before surgery normal (16–30 U ml−1 CA 125 values were measured in four patients and 13 had increased (75–11.356 U ml−1) antigen concentrations. After surgery the marker increased to 104–931% of the preoperative level in five patients. In 12 patients the post-operative antigen level decreased to 20–96% of the preoperative level. In seven of these patients CA 125 increased without exceeding the preoperative level, after the initial postoperative fall. Thus, the CA 125 level during the first week after primary operation of ovarian cancer patients seems to be influenced by other variable factors besides a reduced amount of tumor tissue. Therefore, an investigation of the correlation between the change in the CA 125 concentration within the first week after surgery and the survival of the patient cannot be performed for the time being.
- ovarian carcinoma
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