CA-125 is a kind of protein that is known to predict the recurrence of ovarian cancer. At this moment it seems like there is a possibility for it to become a screening tool for early detection. According to one of the latest studies, a blood test could offer information about ovarian cancer in case of menopausal women.
The Current Research
CA-125 is said to be a biomarker which has been discovered in the 1980s. Since then the researchers have always been trying to go beyond these findings to determine the predictive role of the biomarker. This is becoming even more important because of the false results that some tests could have.
What do the Specialists have to say?
According to the researchers, in the past 10 years there has been a lot of excitement regarding the biomarker. For a long time the researchers and specialists were sure that they will find a better biomarker than this one for early detection. After they studied different kinds of markers they realized that at the moment there is no better one.
It is believed that 22,240 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and over 14,000 women are expected to die because of this condition. Sadly over 70% of the patients are diagnosed only in the advanced stages of the condition.
There was one study conducted regarding ovarian cancer. This involved over 4,000 healthy, postmenopausal women. The main goal of the study has been specificity and as few false positives as possible. The study was also interested in the number of needed operations to diagnose ovarian cancer with accuracy.
How it all Happened?
At the beginning all the participants had a blood test and they were divided into three risk groups. Over time the risk stage of women may have changed. In the end there were 85 women in the high risk group. Based on their outcomes we can say that the predictive value of the CA-125 is of 40%, which is more than the 10% – the actual predictive rate of the screening tools.
One of the major victories of the study is that four very aggressive forms of cancer have been found with the help of screening and these patients had the surgery that saved their lives. Naturally the studies go on for the specialists to know even more about the condition.