Tracking levels of the CA125 protein over time may help to reduce ovarian cancer deaths by as much as 20%, according to a recent study published online ahead of print in The Lancet.1

Looking at initial results from the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) which enrolled more than 202 000 women across the UK, Steven Skates, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital and fellow researchers monitored CA125 levels in order to find any association with patient prognosis and response to treatment.

They used the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm (ROCA) to analyze CA125 patterns over time and any significant increases from baseline.

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Patients were randomly assigned to annual multimodal screening with ROCA and transvaginal ultrasound as a second-line test, annual ultrasound screening alone, or a control group that received no screening.

Initial analysis found that screening was associated with reduced mortality from ovarian cancer, with a greater reduction found in the group receiving multimodal screening, although differences were not statistically significant.

However, in a comparison between the multimodal and control groups that excluded women found to have ovarian cancer upon entering the study, they found that screening was associated with a significant reduction of approximately 20% in risk of dying from ovarian cancer.


1. Massachusetts General Hospital. Study suggests that annual CA125 screening may reduce ovarian cancer deaths [news release]. EurekAlert! web site. Posted December 17, 2015. Accessed December 17, 2015.