The value of cancer antigen-125 (CA-125) as a tumor marker for malignant germ cell tumors (MGCT) of the ovary was investigated and compared with the other recognized tumor markers (human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) isoenzymes. In the 10 months following June 1984, 4 new cases with MGCT and 1 patient with active disease on treatment were evaluated. In all cases prior to planned surgery the levels of CA-125 were significantly elevated. The serum values ranged from 154 to 617 U/ml (normal < 20 U/ml). In 1 case (pure dysgerminoma) CA-125 was the only tumor marker. In 3 patients (2 mixed germ cell tumors and 1 immature teratoma) serum LDH (LD 1, 2, and 3) was elevated, and AFP was elevated in 1 of these. In the fifth case (mixed germ cell tumor), on treatment, serum AFP was used to monitor the disease. Four patients underwent cytoreductive surgery followed by combination chemotherapy. The changes in the serum levels of CA-125 paralleled those of the other tumor markers while on therapy. In our experience CA-125 is an invaluable indicator of the clinical status of the patient and could be a new tumor marker in patients with MGCT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology