Breast cancer is the most frequent form of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) amongst women and is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 40 and 55. One of the key markers for this disease is the Cancer Antigen 15-3, other markers also include CA549. CA15-3 is a mucin-type glycoprotein with a high molecular weight. It is localised to the apical side of alveoli and ducts on mammary glands and is present as a circulating antigen. CA15-3 is found in greater than 80% of all cases of metastatic Breast Cancer. CA15-3 can be elevated in benign conditions, especially those hepatic in origin, however these elevated CA15-3 levels are rarely above 100 U/ml. Elevated CA15-3 is only found in 5% of healthy controls. There is no correlation between serum CA 15-3 levels, disease stage and prognosis. However very high CA15-3 levels (5 – 10 times the normal) tend to indicate advanced disease and possibly the presence of metastatic disease. Studies have suggested that there is a good general correlation between changing CA 15-3 levels and response to therapy in metastatic cancer, but that it cannot be relied on in the absence of confirming clinical data. Cancer Antigen 15-3 levels are also increased in Colon, Lung and Hepatic Tumours
CA15-3 Cancer Antigen (Breast Cancer); CA15-3; Breast CA15-3
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