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Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Mar;84(3):413-5.

Preoperative CA-125 levels in patients with hereditary compared to sporadic epithelial ovarian carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine whether a significant difference in preoperative CA-125 levels exists between patients with BRCA-associated hereditary ovarian carcinoma and those with sporadic ovarian carcinoma and whether the CA-125 level predicts the probability of optimal cytoreductive surgery.


From a retrospective cohort of 189 consecutive ovarian cancer patients genotyped for BRCA mutation status, data on preoperative CA-125 levels were available for 49/88 (56%) hereditary cases and 43/101 (43%) sporadic cases. Data on the extent of surgical cytoreduction were obtained for all 92 patients with available CA-125 data. Comparison of preoperative CA-125 levels between hereditary and sporadic groups was assessed using the Kruskal-Wallis chi(2) test. Correlation of surgical cytoreduction with preoperative CA-125 level was assessed using Fisher's exact test.


Mean preoperative CA-125 levels were not significantly different among BRCA1 (2289 U/ml), BRCA2 (2586 U/ml), and sporadic (3307 U/ml) cases (P = 0.5). For hereditary cases, optimal cytoreduction was achieved in 59% of patients with preoperative CA-125 levels of <500 U/ml and in 52% of patients with preoperative levels >500 U/ml. For sporadic cases, optimal cytoreduction was achieved in 62% of patients with CA-125 levels of <500 U/ml and in 20% of patients with levels >500 U/ml (P = 0.01).


Preoperative CA-125 levels are not significantly different for patients with hereditary compared to sporadic ovarian carcinoma. The probability of optimal cytoreduction is independent of the preoperative CA-125 level for hereditary cases, but optimal cytoreduction is significantly less likely for sporadic cases with CA-125 levels of >500 U/ml.

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