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Test Code CA153 Cancer Antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3), Serum

Important Note

Specimens from patients who have received preparations of mouse monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis or therapy may contain human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMA). Such specimens may show either falsely elevated or depressed values when tested with assay kits which employ mouse monoclonal antibodies. Additional clinical or diagnostic information may be required to determine patient status.

Patients with confirmed breast carcinoma may have CA 15-3 assay values in the same range as healthy individuals. Elevations in circulating DF3 defined antigen may be observed in patients with nonmalignant disease. For these reasons, a CA 15-3 assay value, regardless of level, should not be interpreted as absolute evidence for the presence or absence of malignant disease. The CA 15-3 assay value should be used in conjunction with information available from clinical evaluation and other diagnostic procedures.

Additional Codes


PowerChart: CA 15-3

Epic: LAB776 Cancer Antigen 15-3

MA Cerner: CA 15-3

Test Method

Chemiluminescent Immunoassay; Beckman Architect

Specimen Requirement

1.0 mL serum.

Additional Specimen Collection Information

Collect blood in a red-top tube; serum gel tubes are preferred. Serum should be separated from contact with the cells within 2 hours of collection. Specimens not centrifuged within 4 hours of collection may be rejected. Refrigerate the specimen if unable to assay within 8 hours of collection.


Testing is performed Monday through Sunday.

Reference Values

≤ 30 U/mL

CPT Code Information

86300 Diagnostic Immunology Testing: Immunoassay for tumor antigen, quantitative; CA 15-3

Useful For

Evaluating patients' response to cancer therapy, especially for ovarian carcinoma.

Predicting recurrent ovarian cancer or intraperitoneal tumor.

LOINC Code Information

6875-3 Cancer Ag 15-3 [Units/Volume] In Serum Or Plasma