Combinations of multiple serum markers are superior to individual assays for discriminating malignant from benign pelvic masses

Gynecol Oncol. 1995 Oct;59(1):111-6. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1995.1276.


To determine whether measurement of the levels of multiple tumor markers in the preoperative serum of women presenting with a pelvic mass distinguished benign from malignant disease better than the assay of CA 125 alone, sera from 429 patients, 192 of whom had malignant histology, were assayed for 8 different markers: CA 125, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, OVX1, lipid-associated sialic acid (LASA), CA15-3, CA72-4, CA19-9, and CA54/61. The sensitivity and specificity of CA 125 alone (> 35 U/ml) was 78.1 and 76.8%, respectively. A panel consisting of CA 125, OVX1, LASA, CA15-3, and CA72-4 had a sensitivity of 83.3% and specificity of 84.0% when two or more markers were elevated. Using the concentrations of these five markers, logistic regression analysis had a sensitivity of 85.4% and a specificity of 83.1%. Considering the values of markers in different sequences, classification and regression tree analysis substantially improved the sensitivity to 90.6% and the specificity to 93.2%. When applied in clinical practice this approach could improve the management of women presenting with a pelvic mass and may also have application in screening for ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / blood
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Preoperative Care
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers, Tumor