Purpose of review: This review addresses recently reported progress in cancer antigen 125 as a prognostic marker in patients with ovarian cancer.
Recent findings: Serum cancer antigen 125 levels measured preoperatively in both early and late stage ovarian cancer may be of prognostic value. Before cancer antigen 125 determination may be implemented into clinical practice, cut-off levels must be evaluated and internationally defined. Studies examining serum cancer antigen 125 levels after surgery but before, during, or after treatment confirmed that changes in serum levels are of prognostic value. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the level of expression of cancer antigen 125 in tissue may be an independent prognostic indicator in late stage ovarian cancer.
Summary: Prognostic markers may potentially help to individualize treatment within subgroups of patients. In a recent study the level of cancer antigen 125 expression was consistently found to be of prognostic value. This finding supports implementation of cancer antigen 125 measurement in future clinical ovarian cancer trials to clarify whether this marker has value in selecting candidates for individually based treatments.