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
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.