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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / CA15-3


Brown clotted serum, gel barrier

Common AbbreviationsNA
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier
Clinical IndicationSerial testing of CA 15-3 is useful for monitoring the course of disease during treatment for metastatic breast cancer. It is also used in the detection of recurrence in previously treated Stage II (with greater than two positive lymph nodes) or Stage III breast cancer patients. Do not interpret serum levels of CA15-3 as absolute evidence of the presence or absence of malignant disease. Before treatment, patients with confirmed breast carcinoma frequently have levels of CA 15-3 within the reference range. Additionally elevated levels can be observed in patients with non-malignant diseases. Exercise caution when interpreting CA 15-3 levels during pregnancy.
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeSerum
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsNo special requirements
Stability48 hours at 20 - 25°C, 5 days at 2 - 8°C and 90 days at -20°C
Turnaround TimeInpatient: 24 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
Reference Interval0 - 29 kU/L (Quoted by the manufacturer)
LimitationsAnalysis should not be performed on grossly haemolysed, icteric or lipaemic samples. The assay is unaffected by biotin < 287 nmol/L or < 70 ng/mL. No interference was observed from rheumatoid factors up to a concentration of 1500 IU/mL. In rare cases, interference due to extremely high titers of antibodies to analyte specific antibodies, streptavidin or ruthenium can occur. In vitro tests were performed on 16 commonly used pharmaceuticals. No interference with the assay was found. In addition, several special cancer drugs were tested. No interference with the assay was found. Samples should not be taken from patients receiving therapy with high biotin doses (i.e. > 5 mg/day) until at least 8 hours following the last biotin administration.
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