Pretreatment CA-125 and risk of relapse in advanced ovarian cancer

Maurie Markman, P. Y. Liu, Mace L. Rothenberg, Bradley J. Monk, Mark Brady, David S. Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose: A previous report suggested the nadir serum CA-125 level within the group of patients with ovarian cancer who achieved normalization of CA-125 accurately defined the risk of relapse. Using similar CA-125 subgroups, we sought to determine if the baseline CA-125 level before initiation of maintenance chemotherapy in women achieving a clinically-defined complete response to primary chemotherapy would be of prognostic value. Patients and Methods: Patients included in this retrospective analysis had been treated on one of two previously reported trials of maintenance chemotherapy (three v 12-monthly cycles of paclitaxel; oral altretamine), with a baseline CA-125 level of ≤ 35 u/mL. Progression-free survival (PFS) from study entry was analyzed by the Cox regression model. Results: The distribution of premaintenance baseline CA-125 levels for the 384 patients was 58%, 34%, and 8% for values of (A) ≤ 10 u/mL, (B) 11 to 20 u/mL, and (C) 21 to 35 u/mL, respectively. The baseline CA-125 was highly statistically significant, either as a categoric variable (P < .001) or as a continuous variable (P < .0001). Median PFS was 24 months, 17 months, and 7 months for groups (A), (B), and (C), respectively. There was no evidence the CA-125 effect differed by trial or treatment in an interaction analysis (P = .70). Conclusion: The baseline CA-125 level before initiation of maintenance chemotherapy strongly predicts the risk of subsequent relapse. Patients with premaintenance baseline CA-125 values ≤ 10 u/mL have a superior PFS compared with higher levels in the normal CA-125 range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1454-1458
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 20 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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