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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Diagnostic value of 15-3 antigen (CA 15-3) in serum of women with breast cancer - comparison to mucin-like associated antigen (MCA)

Zygmunt Kopczyński, Anna Thielemann, Izabella Konik, Izabela Szczypińska

Med Sci Monit 1999; 5(3): BR415-420

ID: 504742

Available online:

Published: 1999-04-30

The aim of this study was evaluation of the independence occurence of CA 15-3 and MCA in serum of women with breast cancer. Relationship between the concentration of these antigens and patient age, stage of the clinical progression, histopathological grade, presence of metastases to the axillary lymph nodes and histological type of neoplasm was evaluated. The studies were carried out on the serum of 131 women aged 25-81 years (age average 53 years), treated in the Surgial Department in the Chair of Oncology at Karol Marcinkowski Medical University. The MCA concentration was determined by means of the immunoenzymatic assay by Roche (Austria) and the contents of CA 15-3 was obtained due to the Abbott immunofluorescent method (U.S.A.). The study showed that CA 15-3 and MCA serum concentrations in healthy women remained within acceptable values. A slight percentage of the increased antigen concentrations was revealed in the serum of women with a benign breast neoplasm. However, in women with breast cancer there was the most significant level of CA 15-3 (40%) and of MCA (31.4%). The higher clinical stage the higher median of CA 15-3 concentration was noted. There is no such a correlation as far as MCA is concerned. The higher the histological grade the lower the value of CA 15-3. The data analyses indicated that the biggest percentage of elevated results was MCA and CA 15-3 in the serum of women with lobular cancer. The study suggests some valuable hints how to determine antigens in the serum. Especially CA 15-3 can put forward information helpful to establish a diagnosis. It may also be needed as far as the assessment of the clinical stage of the disease is concerned. It also has prognostic value.

Keywords: mucin-like associated antigen, antigen CA 15-3, breast cancer