Background: Woman with advanced-stage high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is likely to have a bad prognosis. Relapses are common in patients even with no evidence of disease after primary treatment. We aimed to identify the prognostic factors for disease recurrence in these patients.
Methods: A nested case-control study was conducted in a large medical center in Southwest China. The primary outcome was recurrence of disease within 3 years after CR. Cox regression was used to calculate the time to event analysis in different groups.
Results: Ninety- seven patients were finally included. Fifty-seven patients (58.8%) relapsed within 3 years after CR. Among all the variables, the difference in posttreatment CA-125 level was statistically significant (P ＜0.05) between the recurrent group and the progression-free group in both univariate and multivariable analysis . A cutoff value was set at the median level in the recurrent group (10 U/ml) to categorize patients into two arms. In Cox regression, the posttreatment CA-125 level was identified as a prognostic factor for recurrence with an OR of 1.05 (95% CI: 1.02-1.10, P=0.033). The median time (from initiation of treatment) until relapse was 25 months for patients whose posttreatment CA-125 levels were higher than 10 U/ml, while it was undefined for patients whose posttreatment CA-125 level were ≤ 10 U/ml. Patients with a higer posttreatment CA-125 level showed a increased risk for OC relapse compared to those with a lower posttreatment CA-125 level. Furthermore, as shown in line graphs recording serum CA-125 levels during follow-up in each recurrent case, the increments of serum CA-125 levels were delayed in recurrent OC patients who had a posttreatment CA125 level ≤ 10 U/ml compared with those with a higher CA-125 level.
Conclusion: A low serum CA-125 level after primary treatment was a potential prognostic factor in women with advanced HGSOC.