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Who has CA27.29 Values returned to normal? What happened after?

Xavo Member Posts: 244

I happened to read this: "Tumour marker values return to normal may indicate cure despite radiographic evidence of persistent disease.(2) In this circumstance, the residual tumour is often non-viable." (  This statement is not referring to CA 27.29 in particular, nor about breast cancer specifically. I doubt anyone in this BC world would agree with it, or some do? I am very curious. Please inform me if you know something. Thanks!

 (Edited for typo)


  • blainejennifer
    blainejennifer Member Posts: 441

    I've been normal three times now. I've never maintained it longer than a few months.


  • Kandy
    Kandy Member Posts: 424

    My markers are completely reliable. Mine was normal after my original tumor was removed and I was stage 3. Then 4 years later they elevated, sure enough lesion in my ileum. Had radiation and changed hormonal. They went back to normal. I stayed that way for 2 1/2 years. Also scans showed NED. Then markers went up, then lesions were found throughout bones and in liver. So for me, definitely not cured.

  • lauriesh
    lauriesh Member Posts: 82

    my tumor marker went back to normal after a couple rounds of chemo and has stayed in the range of 7-12 ( ca 27-29) for the last 6 years. I have been Ned for over 6 years, and have been on no meds for almost 2 1/2 years. I will never use the word " cured" , I would feel like I am jinxing myself.

  • Lynnwood1960
    Lynnwood1960 Member Posts: 1,107

    My Ca27-29 was 203 when diagnosed with bone mets, have dropped to the 40's but have never gone to the normal range. Last pet scan showed no abnormal uptake and bone mets sclerotic. My onc says she doesn't shoot for normal, just stable, up or down 10 points is stable to her.

  • heidihill
    heidihill Member Posts: 1,856

    No CA27-29 but they do test 3 other tumor markers (CEA, CA13-5, CA125). These have been normal for 9 1/2 years and I have been NED also for so long.  

  • Xavo
    Xavo Member Posts: 244

    So the statement that normal tumor marker values after treatments may indicate cure despite radiographic evidence of persistent disease could be true if it has a qualification: tumor markers returned to normal after treatments and stayed normal ever since for a long period. To further qualify, remission might be a more prudent word instead of cure in the case of MBC? I think if this point has any truth, it is not without meaning or significance in terms of treatment options. For those luckier ones who have had sustained normal tumor marker values, the continue treatment might well be very light to avoid unnecessary drug side effects. In Lynnwood's case, the 40s might well be her individual upper normal. Of course the question then is how long a sustained normal period is long enough. For instance, Kandy's normal tumor marker time was very long, 2 and a half year. Sign. However, I naturally like this insight.   

  • heidihill
    heidihill Member Posts: 1,856

    If the tumor is no longer viable wouldn't the radiographic evidence eventually change to confirm the tumor marker values? 

    I wish they had a better handle on how long is long enough. We need something like this study on bowel cancer to better predict prognosis.

    This is not about a cure but still good to know how much having survived so and so long or having had such and such treatment increases the conditional survival odds.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063

    Xavo, you quoted "Tumour marker values return to normal may indicate cure despite radiographic evidence of persistent disease.(2) In this circumstance, the residual tumour is often non-viable." In my case, for a year after Taxol, even though (smaller than originally) tumors showed on CT (radiographic evidence), the PET indicated that they had no metabolic activity (non-viable), and my CA 27.29 was normal. My onc said that in about 1 in 25 cases like that, the cancer does not come back. I had hoped to be in the 4% who stayed that way, but I was not.

  • Goodie16
    Goodie16 Member Posts: 297

    My tumor markers returned to normal after my craniotomy in 2015 and have stayed that way since. Scans show NED. I am currently taking Arimidex and will do so until there is progression.

  • Xavo
    Xavo Member Posts: 244

    Haven't heard many cases of experiencing normalization of tumor markers yet. Is it because it occurs to 1 of 25 patients who show CA27.29 or CA 15-3 (about 30% MBC patients do not show), as ShetlandPoby's onc said? Really? ShetlandPony and Kandy, also Jenifer, so much I hope you achieve another normalization of TW at no time. This morning I found another place saying the same: "Normalization of tumor marker values may indicate cure despite radiographic evidence of persistent disease. In this circumstance, the residual tumor is frequently nonviable."( This time I noticed that it is only a possibility, which is still a good news. Heidi, Lauriesh, Lynnwood, Goodie, I think you are the lucky 4%. I have had normal CA 27.29 for only 4 months after having been on Afinitor/Aromasin combo for 7 months. CT Scans showed shrinkage or disappearance of the lesions. No PET scan so far. I have my treatment at Dana Farber. The oncs there seemed do not use PET scan for us MBC patients. No way in my case to think about anything better than getting improved and being stable. I can only wish it last at this point.  

  • Jojo71
    Jojo71 Member Posts: 15

    My 27-29 have been in the normal range for around a year. They bounce around, up and down in a 6 or 7 point range. I was getting anxious because they went up to 35, nearing the upper limit of normal, but this month they dropped to 26...the lowest they've been since I was diagnosed with mbc!

    I am currently NED...I would love to believe I'm cured, but I know the chance is low.

  • Goodie16
    Goodie16 Member Posts: 297

    Xavo, another interesting factor to add in, my 2 tumors were both removed via surgery. The only radiation I had was gammaknife to the tumor bed in my brain. Perhaps the surgical removal of the tumors, combined with hormonal treatment, has allowed my tumor markers to be in the normal range and scans to show NED?