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CA 15-3 (Cancer Associated Antigen 15-3)

Biological activities
The CA 15-3 antigen is a high-molecular-weight mucin glycoprotein termed MUC-1. It has been characterized with monoclonal antibodies developed against purified extracts of a membrane fraction isolated from a human breast carcinoma (clone DF3) and against human milk fat globule membrane (clone 115D8). Other names for the mucin include polymorphic epithelial mucin (PEM), epithelial membrane antigen (MEA) or episalin.

Clinical applications
This marker is most useful in evaluating the effect of treatment for women with advanced breast cancer. Elevated levels of CA15-3 are also associated with cancers of the ovary, lung and prostate, as well as non-cancerous conditions such as benign breast or ovarian disease, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and hepatitis. Pregnancy and lactation also can raise CA 15-3 levels.

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