Characterization of serum biomarkers for detection of early stage ovarian cancer

Proteomics. 2005 Nov;5(17):4589-96. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200500093.


We have previously reported the identification of three ovarian cancer biomarker panels comprised of SELDI-TOF-MS peaks representing 14 differentially expressed serum proteins for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Using micro-LC-MS/MS, we identified five m/z peaks as transthyretin (TTR 13.9 kDa, TTR fragment 12.9 kDa), beta-hemoglobin (Hb, 15.9 kDa), apolipoprotein AI (ApoAI, 28 kDa) and transferrin (TF, 79 kDa). Western and/or ELISA methods confirmed the differential expression of TTR, Hb, and TF, and multivariate analyses resulted in improving the detection of early stage ovarian tumors (low malignant potential and malignant; receiver operating characteristic, ROC 0.933) as compared to cancer antigen CA125 alone (ROC 0.833). Interestingly, when CA125 was included with our markers in the multivariate analysis, the ROC increased to 0.959. Furthermore, multivariate analysis with only the mucinous subtype of early stage ovarian tumors, showed our markers to greatly improve the detection of disease (ROC 0.959) as compared to CA125 alone (ROC 0.613). Interestingly, the combination of CA125 with our markers did not seem to further improve the detection of mucinous tumors (ROC 0.955). We conclude that TTR, Hb, ApoAI and TF, when combined with CA125 should significantly improve the detection of early stage ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoprotein A-I / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Blotting, Western
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prealbumin / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Transferrin / analysis
  • Trypsin


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CA-125 Antigen
  • Prealbumin
  • Transferrin
  • Trypsin