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Does CA-125 fluctuate durring Chemo?

Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi All: I am presently in Chemo. I just started my thrid round today (each round being 3 weeks). After my first round my CA-125 was 5. I had the test at the usual spot, but this week there was no lab technician at my ususal spot and I had to get it done at a different lab. Both places send to Nordx Lab. This week, my CA125 was 12. Should I be concerned?? Did anyone else that went into remission after frontline treatment have Fluctuating CA-125. Even though the labs were Nordx I am not sure they were sent to the same Nordx lab.

Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1316
Joined: Jul 2012

My CA-125 was all taken by the same lab and was going down with every chemo round:
1083 -> 519 -> 126 -> 29 -> 18 -> 9 -> 8 -> 7

However I read that CA125 levels can and do fluctuate and marker is not the only indicator of how chemo is working. Check out http://www.wcn.org/downloads/CA125levels.pdf

Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

Thank you for the good information. There is a guy that comes to these board, I think he may be in the medical field said in one of his old posts that If the test was a different manufacturer it could be a different number.

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1074
Joined: Sep 2010

My CA-125 jumped from 33 to 60 after my third round of chemo. The infusion nurse said it could be due to tumor die off. The next time I had it tested, it was 17 and continued downward after that. NED after first line chemo for 2 years 8 months, and counting.

Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2012

Yes you can fluctuate. My dr told me when I started certain chemos my marker was likely to go up before it went down. The nurses gave me this website to review when my counts were so high. You may want to check it out. It gave me a better understanding. My dr and I use the marker ias one tool since my cancer is like seeding and doesn't show up well on ct scans. He starts or changes chemo depending on how I feel first. Hope this helps. Here is the website discussing CA125 http://www.wcn.org/downloads/CA125levels.pdf

I wouldn't worry about a small rise. One day I had 2 sets of blood work done and they inadvertently ran the ca125 twice.. The value was about 25 lower in the first test. The dr said it was stable and not to make anything from it. That is why they don't test the marker weekly on a routine basis.

Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks everyone for the advise. One thing I did notice is that all my other tests went to Quest Diagnostics in Cambridge MA and this last one that had a rise rent to Nordx in Maine. I wonder if that is the reason. I read something about if they use a different test manufacturer it can be different or if one is using the CA-125 or the newer one the CA-125II. I am not going to freak out about it because my doctors office is closed this Monday when I get my test done so I have to go to a thrid place and that can be different. After Christmas week I will go back to the first one and maybe get a better show if it has rissen overall.

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