October is Breast Cancer Awareness month in the U.S.
Breast cancer is the most common life-threatening malignant lesion in women of many developed countries today, with approximately 180,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Roughly half of these newly diagnosed patients are node-negative, however 30% of these cases progress to metastatic disease.
There are a number of tumor markers that can help clinicians to identify and diagnose which breast cancer patients will have aggressive disease and which will have an indolent course. These markers include estrogen and progesterone receptors, DNA ploidy and percent-S phase profile, epidermal growth factor receptor, HER-2/neu oncogene, p53 tumor suppressor gene, cathepsin D, proliferation markers and CA 15-3. CA 15-3 is most useful for monitoring patients post-operatively for recurrence, particularly metastatic diseases. 96% of patients with local and systemic recurrence have elevated CA 15-3, which can be used to predict recurrence earlier than radiological and clinical criteria. A 25% increase in the serum CA 15-3 is associated with progression of carcinoma. A 50% decrease in serum CA 15-3 is associated with response to treatment. CA 15-3 is more sensitive than CEA in early detection of breast cancer recurrence. In combination with CA 125, CA 15-3 has been shown to be useful in early detection of relapse of ovarian cancer. CA 15-3 levels are also increased in colon, lung and hepatic tumors.
Calbiotech offers a CA 15-3 ELISA test, which is designed for use in the research of breast cancer. For more information about this product, click the link below: