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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Significance of HE4 estimation in comparison with CA125 in diagnosis of ovarian cancer and assessment of treatment response

Elham O Hamed1*, Hydi Ahmed1, Osama B Sedeek4, Abeer M Mohammed1, Ali A Abd-Alla2 and Hazem M Abdel Ghaffar3

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, 82524, Egypt

2 Clinical Oncology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, 82524, Egypt

3 Obstetrics & Gynecology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt

4 Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt

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Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:11  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-11

Published: 23 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) is a novel and specific biomarker for ovarian cancer. The aim of this study is to evaluate a new tumor marker, HE4, in comparison with CA125 in diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and benign gynecological diseases.

Methods

CA125 and HE4 serum levels were determined in 30 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (21 serous, 6 endometrioid and 3 mucinous tumors), 20 patients with benign gynecological diseases (8 patients with ovarian cyst, 5 patients with endometriosis, 4 patients with fibroid and 3 patients with pelvic inflammatory disease) and 20 healthy women. CA125 and HE4 cut-offs were 35 U/ml and 150 pmol/l, respectively.

Results

Serum HE4 and CA125 concentrations were significantly higher in the ovarian cancer patients compared with those seen in patients with benign disease or in the healthy controls (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001 respectively). In the receiver operating characteristic analysis (ROC), the area under the curve (AUC) values for HE4 was 0.96 (95% confidence interval, 0.9-1.0) and CA125 was 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.7-0.94). Compared to CA125, HE4 had higher sensitivity (90% vs. 83.3%), specificity (95% vs. 85%), PPV (93.1% vs. 80.7%) and NPV (92.7% vs. 87.2%), the combination of HE4 + CA125 the sensitivity and PPV reached 96.7% and 97% respectively.

Conclusion

Measuring serum HE4 concentrations along with CA125 concentrations may provide higher accuracy for detecting epithelial ovarian cancer.

Virtual Slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1060413168685759 webcite

Keywords:
Human epididymis protein 4; HE4; Carbohydrate antigen125; CA125; Epithelial; Ovarian cancer; EOC