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Prospective study of the role of HE4 and CA125 in treatment and follow-up in ovarian cancer patients

Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal
Ann-Lisbeth Liest,1 Ahmed Shaker Omran,2 Rasmus Mikiver,3 Per Rosenberg,1 Srinivas Uppugunduri3


Introduction: Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, tubal- and peritoneal cancer (EOC) is still the major cause of death in gynecological cancer. The outcome of primary surgery is an important prognostic factor. The primary aim of this study was to study the utility of HE4 and CA125 in monitoring the response of chemotherapy during treatment and in predicting prognosis and recurrence during follow-up. We have also evaluated the role of HE4 as a predictor of the result of surgical intervention.
Methods: Seventy-eight patients scheduled for chemotherapy were monitored with serum HE4 and CA125 during treatment and follow-up. In 39 patients samples for tumor markers were also obtained prior to surgical intervention.
Results: Both HE4 and CA125 decreased in response to treatment. PFS and OS were strongly dependent on HE4 levels prior to start of chemotherapy with significantly prolonged PFS and OS when HE4 levels were under upper reference limit of 82pmol/L (P=0.018 resp. P<0.001).
The levels of HE4 correlated with primary surgical outcome with significantly lower postoperative HE4 in the radically operated group (P<0.001). An increase in HE4 and/or CA125, signals a recurrence 3-6months before diagnosis. Median levels for both HE4 and AC125 before start, during and at the end of treatment were significantly higher for platinum resistant patients (P<0.005).
Conclusion: Both tumor markers are valuable in monitoring the response of chemotherapy as well as in predicting recurrence during follow-up. Postoperative HE4 holds promise as an objective marker to evaluate the result of surgery and is highly predictive for future prognosis.


Ovarian cancer, Prognosis, HE4, CA125, Primary debulking surgery, Progression Free survival