Advice about increase in CA125 soon after finishing treatment for recurrence

I’m posting on behalf of my mother and would be grateful for any advice... She finished her first lot of treatment (carboplatin) for Primary Peritoneal/Ovarian cancer in August 2009, and then had a recurrence and went on treatment again in September 2010, also going onto the ICON6 trial. At the end of this lot of treatment (February 2011), her CA125 was about 300. We’ve just been told that on her last test a few weeks ago, her CA125 had risen to 780.

I’m somewhat worried at how quickly the CA125 increased at the end of treatment – has anyone experienced similar increases after finishing treatment, and is this something to be worried about? What is likely to happen next? How much more is the CA125 normally allowed to increase before further chemotherapy is started? I also can’t help wondering whether the quick increase in CA125 means that she stopped getting the actual drug as part of the ICON6 trial (or never had it in the first place).

My mother is not having any symptoms, apart from occasional pain in the abdomen, and is due for another appointment with the oncologist at the end of May. At the last appointment (before we knew the CA125 result), they implied that further treatment would depend on what symptoms my mother was getting.

I’ll try calling the research nurse tomorrow to find out a bit more. Any advice would be welcome...

Thanks!

3 Replies

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  • I do not have any advice, except to go back to the oncologist as soon as possible. CA125 is not a reliable cancer marker in everyone, and my oncologist is adamant that he needs bloods, a physical examination and a scan to diagnose it. As you are aware, your mother might not have been given the drug in the trial, and might have been part of the control group.

    I would get another blood test from my GP, and ask for an earlier appointment with the oncologist - the sooner they check it out, the better.

    Very best wishes,

    Isadora.

  • Hello Isadora

    Thanks so much for your advice. I called the oncologist today and fortunately, there was a mistake in the letter - it should have been 78 and not 780! It's such a huge relief ! 780 did seem somewhat high, given that my mother didn't feel any worse than normal, but I put that down to the disease.

    Anyway hopefully it'll continue to decline.

    Thanks again - I think I would have delayed calling and we would have continued to worry if you hadn't posted a reply!

    Best wishes

    Emilia

  • Thank heavens!!

    You'd think they'd check a letter like that very carefully, wouldn't you? I thought they were being very laid back about something that should have been ringing alarm bells!

    I'm thrilled that it's such good news - do send love to your Mum. At a time like this, stress should be reduced as much as possible!

    Thanks for letting me know.

    Very best wishes,

    I xx

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