Serum CA-125 elevation is well recognised as an ovarian cancer-associated marker and is an antigen determinant on a high-molecular-weight glycoprotein. The normal range of CA-125 is 0-35 U/mL.
Serum CA-125 levels can also be used to monitor the response to treatment as well as a prognostic indicator as the risk of dying of disease is higher in patients with higher serum level of the marker.
It can be elevated for a number of reasons:
- ovarian malignancy: can be elevated in 80-85% of ovarian cancer patients 1,4
- fallopian tube malignancy
- normal healthy subjects: can be elevated in up to 6% of healthy control subjects 1,5
- liver cirrhosis
- adenomyosis 6
- first-trimester pregnancy
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- advanced intra-abdominal non-ovarian malignancy: can be elevated in up to 40% of such patients 1
- peritoneal infection, including tuberculosis 7
See other tumour markers here.
- 1. Jeong YY, Outwater EK, Kang HK. Imaging evaluation of ovarian masses. Radiographics. 20 (5): 1445-70. Radiographics (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Zanaboni F, Vergadoro F, Presti M et-al. Tumor antigen CA 125 as a marker of ovarian epithelial carcinoma. Gynecol. Oncol. 1987;28 (1): 61-7. - Pubmed citation
- 3. Cruickshank DJ, Fullerton WT, Klopper A. The clinical significance of pre-operative serum CA 125 in ovarian cancer. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1987;94 (7): 692-5. - Pubmed citation
- 4. Van der burg ME, Lammes FB, Verweij J. CA 125 in ovarian cancer. Neth J Med. 1992;40 (1-2): 36-51. - Pubmed citation
- 5. Markowska J, Manys G, Kubaszewska M. Value of CA 125 as a marker of ovarian cancer. Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 1992;13 (4): 360-5. - Pubmed citation
- 6. Moyle PL, Kataoka MY, Nakai A et-al. Nonovarian cystic lesions of the pelvis. Radiographics. 30 (4): 921-38. doi:10.1148/rg.304095706 - Pubmed citation
- 7. Sheth SS. Elevated CA 125 in advanced abdominal or pelvic tuberculosis. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1997;52 (2): 167-71. Pubmed citation
- 8. Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2005) ISBN:0781746892. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon