Clinical evaluation of the elecsys® CA 15-3 test in breast cancer patients

Petra Stieber, Rafael Molina, Daniel W. Chan, Herbert A. Fritsche, Ralf Beyrau, Jean M.G. Bonfrer, Xavier Filella, Terrie G. Gornet, Torsten Hoff, Wolfram Jäger, Gerard J. Van Kamp, Dorothea Nagel, Klaus Peisker, Lori J. Sokoll, Frédéric Troalen, Michael Untch, Ingrid Domke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical performance of the CA 15-3 assay on Elecsys systems in an international multicenter study (11 centers). A total of 1326 single samples (272 apparently healthy individuals, 34 pregnant women, 308 benign diseases, 273 cancers other than breast, 439 breast cancer) and 538 serial samples of 98 breast cancer patients during follow-up were analyzed. 95% of values in healthy individuals were below 25 kU/L, and 88% in benign breast diseases, respectively. In malignant breast disease at primary diagnosis the value distribution of Elecsys CA 15-3, sensitivity at 95% specificity, as well as the areas under the curve in ROC analysis were clearly correlated to tumor stages: UICC I to IV 88 to 25% of values < 25 kU/L, sensitivity 7 to 78%, areas under the curve 0.53 to 0.94. During follow-up, sensitivity/specificity for detection of recurrences were 90%/71%. In metastatic disease clinical progression/response to therapy were indicated in 91%/78% of patients at a specificity of 92%/78%. The findings indicate that the Elecsys CA 15-3 assay is very suitable in routine work for detection of recurrences as well as for therapy control in metastatic breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Laboratory
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Breast cancer
  • CA 15-3
  • Clinical evaluation
  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Elecsys® assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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