Increased CA 125 serum levels in patients with advanced acute leukemia with serosal involvement

Andrea Camera, Maria Rosaria Villa, Stefano Rocco, Tiziana De Novellis, Silvia Costantini, Luca Pezzullo, Anna Lucania, Angela Mariano, Vincenzo Macchia, Bruno Rotoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND, CA 125 is a tumor marker used for the diagnosis and monitoring of ovarian carcinoma. This marker also has been found to be increased in patients with serosal effusion derived from nonneoplastic inflammatory disease and in a few instances of advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma with serosal involvement. METHODS, CA 125 levels were tested in the serum of 15 patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) at the time of diagnosis and in 3 patients with advanced leukemia with serosal involvement. In two patients with elevated serum CA 125 levels, a CA 125 assay was performed on leukemic cells and on the supernatant fluid of short term liquid culture. RESULTS. Increased serum CA 125 was found in the three patients with acute leukemia with extramedullary localization and serosal effusion, whereas it was normal in 15 AML patients tested at the time of diagnosis. CA 125 was not detectable in leukemic cell extracts nor in the supernatant fluid of primary cultures. CONCLUSIONS. These results indicate that leukemic cells were unable to produce CA 125 and suggest that its elevation in the serum is likely due to a serosal inflammatory reaction caused by the leukemic infiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Acute leukemia
  • CA 125
  • Serosal involvement
  • Tumor markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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