Can the cancer marker CA-125 predict ovarian cancer?

Gustavo Rodriguez, MD
Gynecologic Oncology

There was a study called GOG 199. The screening algorithm was a mathematical model that looked at not just the CA-125, but the trend in the CA-125, where they plotted out the slope of the line. It was based on preliminary data from women in the United Kingdom. They had all these blood tests going back years.

Some of the subjects had ovarian cancer. But when they looked at all the blood samples, they found that some women who had elevated CA-125s were fine. Their numbers were elevated but they stayed flat, and the women never had ovarian cancer.

There are others that had ovarian cancer and, for a while, their numbers were in the normal range. Then, all of a sudden, they became abnormal. So doctors are anxiously awaiting the preliminary data from that screening trial, but they don’t have that data yet.

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