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Disease Markers
Volume 14 (1998), Issue 3, Pages 155-160

The Value of CA 125 and CA72-4 in Management of Patients with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Salah T. Fayed,1 Samira M. Ahmad,2 Samar K. Kassim,3 and Ali Khalifa3

1Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt
2Atomic Energy, NCRRT, India
3Departments of Biochemistry, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt

Received 9 December 1999; Accepted 9 December 1999

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of the tumor markers CA125 and CA72-4 has been evaluated in the diagnosis and management of ovarian cancer. Both markers were measured in 30 patients with proven epithelial ovarian cancer, 30 patients with benign pelvic masses and 30 normal women. CA125 and CA72-4 were measured using the luminometric immunoassay and immuno-radiometric assay respectively. All patients with ovarian cancer were submitted to surgical staging and cytoreduction followed by adjuvant platinum based chemotherapy for 3–6 courses. Fixing the specificity at 95%, CA125 had a sensitivity of 76.7% at a cut-off 85u/ml while CA72-4 had a sensitivity of 70% at a cut-off 8.5 u/ml. The combination of CA72-4 with CA125 increased the sensitivity to 95% while fixing the specificity at 95%. Among seven cases with stage I and II ovarian cancer five cases had CA125 level below 85 U/ml, three patients out of them had CA72-4 above 8.5 U/ml. CA 72-4 could reflect the residual disease following cytoreduction and could improve the detection of relapse by CA125.

Conclusion: CA72-4 could complement the standard tumor marker CA125 both in diagnosis and follow up of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.