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Serum CA 125 as a tumor marker and the expression of c-erbB-2 oncogene in tubal malignancies
  1. A. Ph. Makar*,
  2. G. B. Kristensen*,
  3. J. Nesland,
  4. O. P. BØRmer and
  5. C. G. TropÉ*
  1. * The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Departments of Gynecology and
  2. Pathology and
  3. The Central Laboratory, Oslo, Norway
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr A. PH. Makar, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, 0310 Oslo 3, Norway.


Serum CA 125 levels were evaluated in 26 patients with fallopian tube malignancies. CA 125 was elevated preoperatively in seven samples (median 178 U ml−1 range 41–19021 U ml−1), and postoperatively in eight of nine (89%) samples collected from patients with residual disease (median 109 U ml−1 range 10–1883 U ml−1) but only in one of seven (14%) samples from patients without residual disease (median 14, range 5–170 U ml−1) (P< 0.001). Changes in the serum CA 125 level during chemotherapy correlated with the clinical course of disease in 13 of 14 patients with a pre-chemotherapy serum CA 125 level> 35 U ml−1. Nine patients with clinical remissions showed decreasing serum CA 125 levels, one with clinically stable disease showed decreasing levels and four with disease progression showed increasing levels. Serum CA 125 levels were measured in four patients before second-look laparotomy. Two of three with positive findings at laparotomy had elevated serum CA 125 levels whilst the third had a normal level. One patient with negative findings at second-look surgery had a normal CA 125 level. Disease relapse was associated with elevated serum CA 125 levels in nine of 10 patients (median 108 U ml−1, range 27–38200 U ml−1). Using immunohistochemical staining, none of the tumors showed positive cytoplasmic staining for c-erbB-2 (NEU) oncogene. This report shows that CA 125 is a reliable tumor marker for monitoring patients with cancer of the fallopian tube during active treatment and follow-up.

  • CA 125
  • c-erbB-2 oncogene
  • tubal malignancies.

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