Epithelial ovarian cancer is a highly lethal gynecological malignancy. Accurate and cost-effective predictive tools to estimate the prognosis of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer before treatment are currently lacking.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of pretreatment serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen-125 (CA-125) in primary epithelial ovarian cancer.
Between 2008 and 2016, 326 patients with a diagnosis of primary epithelial ovarian cancer were retrospectively reviewed. We attempted to identify an optimal cut-off value of CEA to predict survival using ROC curve analysis. Cox regression univariate and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate prognostic factors.
The optimal cut-off value of CEA was 2.6 ng/mL. In univariate and multivariate analyses, FIGO stage and pretreatment CA-125 and CEA levels significantly predicted progression-free and overall survival. The 5-year progression-free survival rate for patients with both a CEA level < 2.6 ng/mL and CA-125 level < 35 U/mL was 84%, compared to only 33% for the patients with higher levels of both markers (p< 0.001). The 5-year cancer specific survival rate was 94% in those with a CEA level < 2.6 ng/mL and CA-125 level < 35 U/mL, and only 39% for those with higher levels of both markers (p< 0.001).
In addition to traditional prognostic factors, a pretreatment serum CEA level ⩾ 2.6 ng/mL and CA-125 level ⩾ 35 U/mL were also independent prognostic factors for epithelial ovarian cancer. Patients with an elevated CEA and/or CA-125 level before treatment should be considered to be at high-risk of recurrence and death.