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CA125

ANCHOR LEAD:  JUST HOW GOOD IS A POPULAR CANCER MARKER?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

CA125 is a cancer blood marker often used to assess whether ovarian cancer has recurred.  A recent study published in the Lancet found that when the marker was used along with additional assessments to detect recurrent disease, and treatment initiated, these patients did not live any longer than those who were treated when symptoms of recurrence appeared.  Deborah Armstrong, an ovarian cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

ARMSTRONG:  What do you do for a patient whose Ca125 is going up but she feels fine except for the anxiety associated with that.  She doesn’t have anything on examination and she doesn’t have anything on imaging and she doesn’t have anything symptom-wise to suggest a disease recurrence, what do you do in that situation?  And that’s a conundrum that none of us really knows what to do with.  I will say that in those situations the data from the Rustin study makes my patients a little more comfortable with the very close but watchful waiting approach, to wait until they become symptomatic or we start to see some findings on imaging studies.    :30 

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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