Follow Up for Primary Peritoneal Cancer

Last Modified: May 29, 2008


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am a Primary Peritoneal Cancer survivor (19 months in remission). I want to know which is best to have, CT scan or PET scan to check for recurrence of disease? Also if recurrence does occur, is it possible to have intraperitoneal (IP) therapy again?


Stephen C. Rubin, MD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Primary Peritoneal Cancer (PPC), which arises in the lining of the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity, is nearly identical to ovarian cancer in its outlook, treatment, and follow-up. As with ovarian cancer, most patients with PPC will have an elevated CA 125 at the time of diagnosis. After entering remission, a re-elevation of CA 125 is generally the earliest sign of recurrence. We typically follow CA 125 levels about every two to three months once our patients enter remission. CT scans and possibly PET scans are often used to evaluate patients with elevated CA 125 levels. (See this previous question about PET/CT use). It is possible to have IP chemotherapy a second time if circumstances are appropriate, but it would be unusual.