Concordance analysis of paired cancer antigen (CA) 15-3 and 27.29 testing

David C. Lin, Jonathan R. Genzen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cancer antigens (CA) 15-3 and 27.29 are used in the clinical management of many breast cancer patients. Given that immunoassays for CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 target epitopes on the same glycoprotein—Mucin 1 (MUC1)—the present analysis was conducted to evaluate the potential concordance of tumor marker results when both tests were ordered by providers on the same specimens. Methods: A retrospective limited dataset of paired CA 15-3 (Roche Diagnostics) and CA 27.29 (Siemens Diagnostics) test results was obtained from a national clinical reference laboratory. Concordance according to reference interval (RI) status and percent (%) change between consecutive test results was analyzed. Results: 37,652 paired results from 12,470 distinct patients were obtained. The correlation between CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 results was high (correlation coefficient: Pearson, 0.967), although across the dataset a significant difference between CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 results was observed (P < 0.05). RI concordance between CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 results was observed in 93.7% of pairs (35,280 of 37,652). Correlation was also observed in the % change of CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 results between consecutive specimens for individual patients. Using doubling or halving thresholds (i.e., 100% increase or 50% decrease), concordance in % change was observed between CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 in approximately 90% of cases. Individual patient results trended similarly across both markers over time. Conclusion: While generally concordant, CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 results should not be used interchangeably. The present report provides no evidence for added value in performing both tests routinely for individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Breast cancer
  • CA 15-3
  • CA 27.29
  • Cancer antigen
  • Mucin
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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