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Gynecol Oncol. 2011 May 1;121(2):249-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Feb 5.

CA125 surveillance increases optimal resectability at secondary cytoreductive surgery for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.



Recent data suggest that serial CA125 surveillance following remission in asymptomatic patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) does not impact overall survival. However, earlier detection of recurrence may influence resectability at secondary cytoreductive surgery (SCS). We hypothesized that a shorter time interval between CA125 elevation and SCS correlates with a higher likelihood of optimal resection among eligible patients.


We identified patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer who underwent SCS from 1995 to 2009 at our institution. All patients initially underwent primary cytoreductive surgery followed by platinum-based chemotherapy. CA125 elevation was considered the first value two-times the patient's nadir level. Our "study interval" was the time between CA125 elevation and SCS. Optimal SCS was defined as microscopic residual disease (≤0.5cm). Our analysis compared patients who underwent optimal vs. suboptimal SCS.


Seventy-four patients who underwent SCS for recurrent EOC met inclusion criteria. Median disease-free interval prior to SCS was 19 vs. 12months for the optimal and suboptimal SCS groups. More patients undergoing suboptimal SCS had ascites (21% vs. 2%, p=0.01) and carcinomatosis (42% vs. 5%, p<0.0001). Patients who underwent optimal SCS went to the operating room 5.3 vs. 16.4weeks (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06, p=0.04) from the time of their CA125 elevation. Optimal SCS was associated with a longer overall survival (47 vs. 23months, p<0.0001).


Each week delay after first CA125 elevation correlated with a 3% increased chance of suboptimal resection at SCS. Serial CA125 surveillance for early detection of recurrence may increase rates of optimal SCS and potentially influence overall survival.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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