Volume 99, Issue 2 p. 95-99
Clinical articles

Serum CA125 level before the development of ovarian cancer

H. Kobayashi

Corresponding Author

H. Kobayashi

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, Japan

Corresponding author. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho 840, Kashihara, Nara, 634-8522, Japan. Tel.: +81 744 29 8877; fax: +81 744 23 6557.Search for more papers by this author
H. Ooi

H. Ooi

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, Japan

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Y. Yamada

Y. Yamada

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, Japan

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M. Sakata

M. Sakata

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, Japan

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R. Kawaguchi

R. Kawaguchi

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, Japan

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S. Kanayama

S. Kanayama

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara, Japan

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K. Sumimoto

K. Sumimoto

Members of the Shizuoka Cohort Study on Ovarian Cancer Screening, Shizuoka, Japan

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T. Terao

T. Terao

Members of the Shizuoka Cohort Study on Ovarian Cancer Screening, Shizuoka, Japan

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First published: 23 July 2007
Citations: 12

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the natural history of ovarian cancer with respect to the change of serum CA125 level.

Methods

The Shizuoka Cohort Study on Ovarian Cancer Screening (SCSOCS) Trial contains approximately 100,000 data on serum tumor marker CA125 prospectively obtained from more than 70,000 women. We reviewed the clinical charts and collected serum samples 2 months to 9.4 years prior to the surgery were available.

Results

In 396 (95%) of the 419 patients with ovarian cancer, one serum sample was present before the diagnosis (mean, 4.1 years). The change of CA125 level before the diagnosis of ovarian cancer could be clearly separated into two groups according to the length of the following intervals: 47% (107/228) of patients with non-serous-type ovarian cancers develop secondarily from slightly elevated CA125 level (35 < CA125 < 65 U/ml), with a mean interval of 3.8 years. On the other hand, 75% (126/168) of patients with serous-type ovarian cancer seem to develop suddenly from a normal CA125 level (CA125 < 35 U/ml), with a mean interval of 1.4 years (p = 0.011).

Conclusions

The slightly elevated CA125 level is typically present many years before the diagnosis especially in patients with non-serous-type ovarian cancer. However, serous-type ovarian cancer may exhibit a rapid progression possibly through de novo carcinogenesis.