• biomarker;
  • CA-125;
  • optimal cytoreduction;
  • ovarian cancer;
  • risk factor;
  • surgery



This meta-analysis was designed to determine the ability of pretreatment CA-125 level to predict optimal cytoreduction in advanced ovarian cancer (OC).


Through literature search, 14 studies were identified. In addition, we retrospectively reviewed the data of 154 patients with OC. Using the bi-variate model, diagnostic performance of CA-125 was assessed at the various cut-off levels. An overall odds ratio was obtained using random effects model.


A total of 2,192 patients were included in the analysis. The pooled optimal cytoreduction rate and the mean of median CA-125 levels were 53.7% and 580 U/ml, respectively. At the cut-off of 500 U/ml, overall sensitivity and specificity were 68.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 62.0–75.1%) and 63.2% (95% CI 53.7–71.7%), respectively. Positive and negative likelihood ratios were 1.87 (95% CI 1.40–2.50) and 0.49 (95% CI 0.37–0.66). The CA-125 >500 U/ml showed strong association with a risk of suboptimal cytoreduction with an odds ratio of 3.69 (95% CI 2.02–6.73).


The current analysis indicates that CA-125 is a strong risk factor of suboptimal cytoreduction and it may be applied in preoperative counseling and treatment planning. However, it also shows that CA-125 lacks the ability to predict optimal cytoreduction accurately. J. Surg. Oncol. 2010;101:13–17. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.