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PTD - 186

Test Directory -  CA15-3


Carbohydrate Antigen 15-3

Clinical Indications

Serum CA15-3 is raised in breast and other adenocarcinomas, especially with distant metastasis. Levels are rarely raised in patients with localised breast cancer.

Request Form

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black)


Referred test: Analysed by Biochemistry, Charing Cross Hospital, if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

Monitoring treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer. 

Patient Preparation

None required

Turnaround Time

1 week




1 ml


Yellow top (SST) tube

Causes for Rejection

Not meeting specific criteria for analysis.

Reference Range

Less than 25 kU/l.

Half-life in Serum



CA15-3 levels may be raised in benign liver disease and possibly benign breast disease. Elevations are seen in a number of carcinomas e.g. stomach, colon, gall bladder, pancreas, oesophagus, liver and lung.

Lab. Handling

Processing: Test code CA153. Aliquot (MPA) and store at 4C in separating fridge (CB39).

Referral: Send or NO153 and save in separating freezer (CB40) at -20C, saved frozen rack.

Version 1.1 / January 2014                                                                                                      Approved by: Consultant Biochemist