Clinical Research in Oncology

The Significance of Normal Pretreatment Levels of CA125 (<35 U/mL) in Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma

Joseph Menczer, Erez Ben-Shem, Abraham Golan, and Tally Levy


Objective: To assess the association between normal CA125 levels at diagnosis of epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) with prognostic factors and with outcome. Methods: The study group consisted of histologically confirmed EOC patients with normal pretreatment CA125 levels, and the controls consisted of EOC patients with elevated (≥35 U/mL) pretreatment CA125 levels, diagnosed and treated between 1995 and 2012. Study and control group patients fulfilled the following criteria: 1) their pretreatment CA125 levels were assessed; 2) they had full standard primary treatment, i.e. cytoreductive surgery and cisplatin-based chemotherapy; and 3) they were followed every 2–4 months during the first two years and every 4–6 months thereafter. Results: Of 114 EOC patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 22 (19.3%) had normal pretreatment CA125 levels. The control group consisted of the remaining 92 patients with ≥35 U/mL serum CA125 levels pretreatment. The proportion of patients with early-stage and low-grade disease, with optimal cytoreduction, and with platin-sensitive tumors was significantly higher in the study group than in the control group. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly higher in the study group than in the control group on univariate analysis but not on multivariate analysis. Conclusion: It seems that a normal CA125 level at diagnosis in EOC may also be of prognostic significance for the individual patient.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2015;6(1):e0005