CA 15-3, Ceruloplasmin and tissue polypeptide specific antigen as a tumour marker panel in breast cancer

  • Ö Özyilkan
  • E Baltali
  • S Kirazli


Background: Tumour markers along with other tests, may be useful in the assessment of the prognosis, monitoring response to treatment and early detection of metastases in breast cancer. The most commonly used breast cancer antigen is CA 15-3.
Objective: To examine the value of CA 15-3, ceruloplasmin and tissue polypeptide specific antigen (TPS) panel in the monitoring of breast cancer.
Subjects: Serum concentrations of CA 15-3, ceruloplasmin and TPS were measured in 90 women: Fifteen controls, sixteen patients with benign breast disease (BBD), thirty one patients in remission and twenty eight patients with active breast cancer.
Results: The results of CA 15-3, ceruloplasmin and TPS estimates were separated into four groups. The patients not in remission were found to have significantly higher levels of CA 15-3 (p<0.0001) and ceruloplasmin (p<0.0001) compared with the other three groups.
The difference between the patients in remission, BBD and the control group was not statistically significant (p>0.05) for CA 15-3 and ceruloplasmin. The difference for TPS between the patients in remission and the patients with active breast cancer was not statistically significant (p>0.05). The sensitivities of CA 15-3, ceruloplasmin, and TPS for detecting active breast cancer were 75.0%, 75.0%, and 78.0%, respectively.
Conclusion: The highest sensitivity for active breast cancer detection was obtained by the combined use of three tumour markers. We concluded that there may be an advantage in using panels in the follow up of breast cancer patients, although so far such tests have too low
a specificity to be of practical value in screening.

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