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Two Markers May Aid in Breast Cancer Detection

Two Markers May Aid in Breast Cancer Detection

NEW YORK--Early detection of breast cancer may be improved when CA 15-3 and tissue polypeptide-specific antigen (TPS) are used in conjunction with mammography and palpation, Vivian Barak, PhD, of Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital, Jerusalem, said at the 12th Annual International Conference on Human Tumor Markers.

CA 15-3 is already used routinely in Israel for breast cancer follow-up, treatment efficacy, and early detection of recurrence, she said. Her study sought to determine whether CA 15-3 and TPS are sufficiently sensitive and specific to justify their cost as tools for early detection in patients at high risk for breast cancer.

Among 182 patients, the study found a good correlation between the findings of mammography and levels of CA 15-3 and TPS. These two markers were found to be more sensitive than mucin-like cancer antigen (MCA) and CA 549.

Although CA 15-3 and TPS can improve screening sensitivity when added to mammography and palpation, they are currently used in Israel only in high-risk patients, and their wider usefulness for screening is not yet clear, she said.

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