When is serum CA 125 testing indicated in ovarian cancer?

Updated: Jan 10, 2020
  • Author: Gentry George T King, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

CA 125 is the only tumor marker recommended for clinical use in the diagnosis and management of ovarian cancer. There are 5 main indications in which the determination of CA 125 levels is recommended.

Table 1 summarizes the recommendations from different societies in both Europe and the United States. [22]

Table 1. Recommendations for CA 125 Testing in Ovarian Cancer by Different Expert Groups (Open Table in a new window)

 

NCCN  [4, 16, 20]

NIH  [19]

NACB  [22]

EGTM  [26]

ESMO  [27, 28]

Early detection in hereditary cancer syndromes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

None

Differential diagnosis of pelvic mass [29]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

None

Monitoring response to therapy

Yes

None

Yes

Yes

Yes

Detection of recurrence

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Prognosis

None

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Abbreviations: NCCN, National Comprehensive Cancer Network; NIH, National Institutes of Health; NACB, National Academy for Clinical Biochemistry; EGTM, European Group on Tumor Markers; ESMO, European Society for Medical Oncology


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