Audit of CA125 Follow-Up After First-Line Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

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The Medical Research Council OVO5/EORTC 55955 trial showed that patients in remission after first-line therapy for ovarian cancer did not benefit from routine measurement of CA125 during follow-up. Since the presentation of these results, we have counseled patients about the options for follow-up and provided them with an information leaflet about the trial results and the symptoms that should prompt an early appointment and CA125 measurement. We present an audit of practice after the presentation of those results.


The medical records of 143 consecutive patients completing first-line therapy for epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer in our unit between July 2009 and December 2013 were analyzed.


An agreed plan of CA125 follow-up was recorded in 69 (79%) of 87 eligible patients on completion of first-line therapy. No routine CA125 follow-up was selected by 55 (80%) patients, and routine CA125 follow-up was selected by 14 (20%), of whom 3 wished not to be informed of the results. CA125 levels were checked in 28 (51%) patients in the no routine CA125 follow-up group, in 26 cases because of the development of symptoms. Relapse was confirmed in 22. Median follow-up was 360 days (range, 100–836). CA125 levels were checked in all 14 patients who had requested routine CA125 follow-up. Relapse has been confirmed in 2 patients. Median follow-up was 560 days (range, 500–620).


If patients are given sufficient information about the role of routine CA125 measurements during follow-up, the majority decide against CA125 monitoring and hence, avoid these blood tests.

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