Dear Dr. Goodman, I was diagnosed with a borderline serous tumor in March. At that time my ca125 was a 10. I have had a complete hysterectomy in April and I just had my first follw up ca125 which came back a 5. While I know this is great news I am just wondering if anyone ever gets a reading of 0 or do you usually have some number? I would appreciate any information you can give me.
First: CA 125. This is a protein that comes from normal tissue in the fetus. It is called an oncofetal protein. As an adult, most tissues do not produce this protein. But there is always a low of level of it. For instance - the level goes up with menstruation, pregnancy, inflammation. It is never zero.
We use it to track tumors that produce excess amounts of this protein such as ovarian cancers. It is not a screening test in women who have no diagnosis of ovarian cancer as it is elevated in so many benign conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids.
second: borderline ovarian tumors:
the majority of borderline tumors are cured by surgical removal. This is true even for stage III tumors where there has been spread to the omentum. There is no role for chemotherapy. 20-30 years ago (before we really understood this category of tumor), women with borderline tumors were treated in the same manner as women with invasive ovarian cancers. They underwent complete hysterectomies and then received chemotherapy. We now realize that chemotherapy does not affect this tumor and women only experienced the side effects and dangers of chemo without any benefit.
phase I clinical trial means an experimental trial where a drug is evaluated for toxicity and for determining the maximum dose. It is not a study of therapeutic benefit.
this is from wikipedia:
Phase I trials are the first stage of testing in human subjects. Normally, a small (20-80) group of healthy volunteers will be selected. This phase includes trials designed to assess the safety (pharmacovigilance), tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of a drug. These trials are often conducted in an inpatient clinic, where the subject can be observed by full-time staff. The subject who receives the drug is usually observed until several half-lives of the drug have passed. Phase I trials also normally include dose-ranging, also called dose escalation, studies so that the appropriate dose for therapeutic use can be found. The tested range of doses will usually be a fraction of the dose that causes harm in animal testing. Phase I trials most often include healthy volunteers. However, there are some circumstances when real patients are used, such as patients who have end-stage disease and lack other treatment options. This exception to the rule most often occurs in oncology (cancer) and HIV drug trials.
my ca 125 preop was 126 and post op 106 for 1C serous borderline tumors (with noninvasive implants in pertoneal washings) as well
are there any treatments currently in phase I for this ? just curious i am over 6 weeks post op
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