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Gynecol Oncol. 1995 Oct;59(1):111-6.

Combinations of multiple serum markers are superior to individual assays for discriminating malignant from benign pelvic masses.

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Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, North Carolina 27110, USA.


To determine whether measurement of the levels of multiple tumor markers in the preoperative serum of women presenting with a pelvic mass distinguished benign from malignant disease better than the assay of CA 125 alone, sera from 429 patients, 192 of whom had malignant histology, were assayed for 8 different markers: CA 125, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, OVX1, lipid-associated sialic acid (LASA), CA15-3, CA72-4, CA19-9, and CA54/61. The sensitivity and specificity of CA 125 alone (> 35 U/ml) was 78.1 and 76.8%, respectively. A panel consisting of CA 125, OVX1, LASA, CA15-3, and CA72-4 had a sensitivity of 83.3% and specificity of 84.0% when two or more markers were elevated. Using the concentrations of these five markers, logistic regression analysis had a sensitivity of 85.4% and a specificity of 83.1%. Considering the values of markers in different sequences, classification and regression tree analysis substantially improved the sensitivity to 90.6% and the specificity to 93.2%. When applied in clinical practice this approach could improve the management of women presenting with a pelvic mass and may also have application in screening for ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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