CA 15-3

CA 15-3, for Carcinoma Antigen 15-3, is a tumor marker for many types of cancer, most notably breast cancer.[1][2][3]

It is derived from MUC1.[4] CA 15-3 and associated CA 27-29 are different epitopes on the same protein antigen product of the breast cancer-associated MUC1 gene.

Elevated CA15-3, in conjunction with alkaline phosphatase (ALP), was found to be associated with an increased chance of early recurrence in breast cancer.[5]

Both CA 15-3 and CA 27-29 may be elevated in patients with benign ovarian cysts, benign breast disease, and benign liver disease. Elevations may also be seen in cirrhosis, sarcoidosis and lupus.


  1. "CA15-3"
  2. Duffy MJ, Duggan C, Keane R, et al. (March 2004). "High preoperative CA 15-3 concentrations predict adverse outcome in node-negative and node-positive breast cancer: study of 600 patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer". Clin. Chem. 50 (3): 559–63. doi:10.1373/clinchem.2003.025288. PMID 14726467.
  3. CA-15-3 Antigen at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  4. Bearz A, Talamini R, Vaccher E, et al. (2007). "MUC-1 (CA 15-3 antigen) as a highly reliable predictor of response to EGFR inhibitors in patients with bronchioloalveolar carcinoma: an experience on 26 patients". Int. J. Biol. Markers. 22 (4): 307–11. PMID 18161663.
  5. CA15-3 and alkaline phosphatase as predictors for breast cancer recurrence: a combined analysis of seven International Breast Cancer Study Group trials - Keshaviah et al. 18 (4): 701 - Annals of Oncology. 2007

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