Human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) is an emerging serum biomarker in the assessment of epithelial ovarian tumours. HE4 is a member of the whey associated protein (WAP) gene cluster and has uncertain biological function 1.
Early results indicate that HE4 has higher sensitivity and sensitivity than CA-125 in distinguishing malignant from a benign ovarian disease in premenopausal women 2. HE4 has a high predictive value in ruling out invasive cancers in postmenopausal women with normal CA-125 2.
Elevated serum HE4 levels have been associated with a more aggressive epithelial ovarian carcinoma phenotype 3.
- 1. Bandiera E, Romani C, Specchia C et-al. Serum human epididymis protein 4 and risk for ovarian malignancy algorithm as new diagnostic and prognostic tools for epithelial ovarian cancer management. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2011;20 (12): 2496-506. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0635 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Holcomb K, Vucetic Z, Miller MC et-al. Human epididymis protein 4 offers superior specificity in the differentiation of benign and malignant adnexal masses in premenopausal women. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2011;205 (4): 358.e1-6. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2011.05.017 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Bignotti E, Ragnoli M, Zanotti L et-al. Diagnostic and prognostic impact of serum HE4 detection in endometrial carcinoma patients. Br. J. Cancer. 2011;104 (9): 1418-25. doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.109 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- tumour markers