Objective: Most patients with epithelial ovarian cancer achieve a complete clinical remission (CCR) with normal CA-125 but will still relapse and die from their disease. The present study was designed to determine whether CA-125 levels before, during, and after primary treatment provide prognostic information for both type I and type II ovarian cancer.
Methods: In this retrospective study, we identified 410 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer who had achieved a CCR between 1984 and 2011. A Cox proportional hazards model and log-rank test were used to assess associations between the nadir CA-125, histotype, and prognosis.
Results: The baseline serum CA-125 concentration was higher in patients with type II ovarian cancer than in those with type I ovarian cancer (P < 0.001). The nadir CA-125 was an independent predictor of progression-free survival (PFS; P < 0.001) and overall survival (OS; P = 0.035) duration. The PFS and OS durations were 21.7 and 79.4 months in patients with CA-125 of 10 U/mL or less and 13.6 and 64.6 months in those with CA-125 of 11 to 35 U/mL, respectively (P = 0.01 and P = 0.002, respectively). Histotype was an independent predictor of PFS (P = 0.041): the PFS and OS durations of the patients with type I ovarian cancer were longer than those of the patients with type II ovarian cancer (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: The nadir CA-125 and histotype are predictive of PFS and OS durations in patients with ovarian cancers who experienced a CCR. Progression-free survival and OS durations were shorter in the patients with CA-125 levels of 11 to 35 U/mL and type II disease than in those with CA-125 levels of 10 U/mL or less and type I ovarian cancer.