Method Comparison and Clinical Performance of Breast Cancer Tumor Markers on Novel Multiplex Immunoassay and Automatized LOCI Technology Platforms

Lars Schröder, Michael R. Mallmann, Christian M. Domroese, Natalie Wefers, Ramona Dolscheid-Pommerich, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner, Inga Trulson, Kai Vahldiek, Frank Klawonn, Stefan Holdenrieder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor marker determinations are valuable tools for the guidance of breast cancer patients during the course of disease. They are assessed on diverse analytical platforms that may be associated with differences according to the methods applied and the clinical performance. To investigate the method dependency and clinical significance of breast cancer protein tumor markers, CEA, CA 15-3, CA 125, CA 19-9 and AFP were measured in a total of 154 biobanked samples from 77 patients with breast cancer, 10 with DCIS, 31 with benign breast diseases and 36 healthy controls using a Millipore multiplex biomarker panel (MP) and an automized version of the routinely used Vista LOCI technology. The markers were compared between methods and investigated for diagnostic performance. CEA, CA 15-3 and AFP showed good correlations between both platforms with correlation coefficients of R = 0.85, 0.85 and 0.92, respectively, in all samples, but similarly also in the various subgroups. CA 125 and CA 19-9 showed only moderate correlations (R = 0.71 and 0.56, respectively). Absolute values were significantly higher for CEA, CA 15-3, CA 125 and AFP in the Vista LOCI as compared with the MP method and vice versa for CA 19-9. The diagnostic performance for discrimination of breast cancer from healthy controls was similar for both methods with AUCs in ROC curves for CEA (MP 0.81, 95% CI 0.72–0.91; LOCI 0.81; 95% CI 0.72–0.91) and CA-15-3 (MP 0.75, 95% CI 0.65–0.86; LOCI 0.67, 95% CI 0.54–0.79). Similar results were obtained for the comparison of breast cancer with benign breast diseases regarding CEA (AUC MP 0.62, 95% CI 0.51–0.73; LOCI 0.64, 95% CI 0.53–0.74) and CA-15-3 (MP 0.70, 95% CI 0.6–0.81; LOCI 0.66, 95% CI 0.54–0.77). Both platforms show moderate to good method comparability for tumor markers with similar clinical performance. However, absolute levels in individual patients should be interpreted with care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3101
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • AFP
  • AUC
  • CA 125
  • CA 15-3
  • CA 19-9
  • CEA
  • breast cancer
  • diagnosis
  • method comparison
  • tumor marker


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