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Clin Chem. 1998 Jul;44(7):1417-22.

Comparison of seven immunoassays for the quantification of CA 125 antigen in serum.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Hospital Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Seven CA 125 immunoassays were compared for their clinical performance. CA 125 concentrations were determined in 289 serum samples obtained from women with benign pelvic tumors (samples from 98 patients) and patients with various cancers (samples from 111 patients). In the range of 0-1000 kilounits/L, all assays tested were linearly correlated, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.89 to 0.99. In relation to the original Centocor CA 125 assay, there was an overall tendency to measure higher absolute values in the lower CA 125 value range. This was not seen in relation to the Centocor CA 125 II assay. ROC curves (benign vs pretreatment ovarian cancer patients) were nearly identical for all assays, and the areas under the ROC curves were not markedly different. We conclude that the CA 125 assays tested are strongly related to each other and are clinically reliable for the quantification of serum CA 125 and that none of the assays offers higher diagnostic accuracy or better discrimination between patient groups, especially not in the lower ranges.

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