Advanced ovarian cancer. Tumour markers. Annals of oncology Rustin, G. J., Van der Burg, M. E., Berek, J. S. 1993; 4: 71-77


There is a need to discover new tumour markers for ovarian carcinoma as well to delineate how the best currently available marker, CA 125 should be used.This review examines the potential of growth factors and cytokines such as M-CSF, IL-6 and IL-10 as tumour markers as well as the over expression of oncogenes such as HER-2/neu in ovarian cancer. The major part of this review critically examines the uses of serum CA 125.Precise definitions for progression of ovarian carcinoma during treatment and on follow up were produced from studying a group of 71 and tested in a separate group of 164 women with ovarian carcinoma. They were found to predict progression with a false positive rate of only 8%. Definitions for response according to CA 125 are proposed.CA 125 remains the best tumour marker for ovarian carcinoma. It is not sensitive enough for screening and lack of specificity reduces its diagnostic accuracy. It's main role is in monitoring response to therapy and detecting tumour recurrence early and more reliably than by other methods.

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