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Analysis of serum HE4 levels in various histologic subtypes of epithelial ovarian cancer and other malignant tumors

Alexandra Blackman, Jessica Mitchell, Rachael Rowswell-Turner, Rakesh Singh, Kyu Kwang Kim, Elizabeth Eklund, Steven Skates, Robert C. Bast, Geralyn Messerlian, M. Craig Miller,
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Published: 21 December 2021
 by  IOS Press

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The measurement of serum HE4 levels has emerged as a sensitive and specific biomarker for epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs). However, serum levels in women diagnosed with various histologic subtypes of EOC and in women with metastatic non-ovarian primary malignancies have not been widely reported. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to identify how serum HE4 levels vary in women diagnosed with different histologic subtypes of EOC and non-ovarian malignancies. METHODS: Data from six prospective pelvic mass clinical trials was combined and an evaluation of serum HE4 levels in women diagnosed with a malignancy was performed. For all patients, serum was obtained prior to surgery and final pathology, including primary tumor site, histologic subtype, grade and stage, were recorded. The mean, median, standard deviation, maximum, and minimum HE4 levels were determined for each group. RESULTS: A total of 984 patients were included in this study, with the average patient age being 60 years old. There were 230 premenopausal and 754 postmenopausal patients. Serum HE4 levels were elevated (≥70.0 pMol) in 85%of EOCs, 40%of LMP tumors, 21%of non-EOCs (germ cell tumors), 25%of cervical cancers, and 47%of non-gynecologic metastatic cancers. Analysis of histologic subtypes revealed 90%(n = 391) of serous, 85%(n = 73) of endometrioid, 45%(n = 42) of mucinous, 86%(n = 51) of mixed tumors, and 69%(n = 36) of clear cell tumors had elevated serum HE4 levels. CONCLUSIONS: Serum HE4 levels are most often elevated in women with high grade serous and endometrioid EOCs, and though serum elevations are seen more often with advanced stage disease, HE4 is also often elevated in early stage disease and lower grade tumors.
Keywords: EOCs / serum HE4 levels / histologic subtypes / tumors

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