Prognostic role of serum CA15.3 in 362 node-negative breast cancers. An old player for a new game

M. Gion, P. Boracchi, R. Dittadi, E. Biganzoli, L. Peloso, R. Mione, C. Gatti, A. Paccagnella, E. Marubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aims of the present investigation were to evaluate the association between serum CA15.3 levels and other biological and clinical variables and its prognostic role in patients with node-negative breast cancer. We evaluated 362 patients operated upon primary breast cancer from 1982 to 1992 (median follow-up 69 months). Serum CA15.3 was measured by an immunoradiometric assay. The association between variables was investigated by a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the prognostic role of CA15.3 on relapse-free survival (RFS) was investigated by Cox regression models adjusting for age, oestrogen receptor (ER), tumour stage, and ERxage interaction, with both the likelihood ratio test and Harrell's c statistic. The prognostic contribution of CA 15.3 was highly significant. Log relative hazard of relapse was constant until approximately 10 (U/ml) of CA15.3 and increased thereafter with increasing marker levels. CA15.3 showed a significant contribution using as a cut-off point a value of 31 U/ml. However, the contribution to the model of the marker as a continuous variable is much greater. From these findings, we can conclude that: (i) CA15.3 is a prognostic marker in node-negative breast cancer; (ii) its relationship with prognosis is continuous, with the risk of relapse increasing progressively from approximately 10 U/ml.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1188
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Breast cancer
  • CA15.3
  • MUC1
  • Node-negative
  • Prognosis
  • Regression splines
  • Serum markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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