We evaluated the significance of biochemical tumor markers, ie, aminoterminal propeptide of type III procoliagen, trivalently cross-linked COOH-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), aminoterminal propeptide of type I procollagen, and CA 125 in the prediction of ovarian cancer outcome and compared them with several classical indicators of prognosis. The concentrations of biochemical markers were determined from the preoperative serum specimens of 55 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. In the univariate analysis, all biochemical markers except PINP and all conventional prognostic indicators except histological subtype correlated significantly with survival. In the multivariate Cox analysis of biochemical markers, serum ICTP remained the only significant prognostic indicator of overall survival. Among all variables, clinical stage and ICTP were the only independent and significant determinants of prognosis. Because the content of trivalently cross-linked, mature type I collagen (the breakdown of which is detectable in the ICTP test) in malignant ovarian cancer tissue has been reported to be lower and that of bivalently cross-linked and non-cross-linked collagen has been reported to be higher than in benign tumors, the source of excess ICTP in the circulation of ovarian cancer patients is most likely the degradative damage of soft tissues surrounding the progressively growing malignant lesions. The serum ICTP concentration can thus be regarded as an indicator of the invasion of ovarian cancer. Such information is not available by conventional methods. Therefore, the ICTP test will improve the accuracy of predicting clinical outcome in this disease.