High expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 messenger RNA in epithelial ovarian cancers produces elevated preoperative serum levels

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2006 Jul-Aug;16(4):1529-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1438.2006.00623.x.


The molecular etiology of epithelial ovarian cancer remains unclear. Using microarray expression analysis, we recently reported that expression of the insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) gene is elevated in advanced epithelial ovarian cancers. The aim of this study was to further delineate the role of IGFBP-2 in the pathoetiology of epithelial ovarian cancer and determine if elevated ovarian cancer IGFBP-2 gene expression is reflected in serum. Relative IGFBP-2 expression was measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in 113 epithelial ovarian cancers and 6 normal ovarian surface epithelial samples. Preoperative serum IGFBP-2 levels were measured by radioimmunoassay in 84 women (42 ovarian cancers, 26 benign gynecological conditions, and 10 healthy female controls). Ovarian cancers demonstrated 38-fold higher mean IGFBP-2 expression than normal ovarian epithelium (P < 0.01). Serum IGFBP-2 levels were elevated in women with early- and advanced-stage ovarian cancer compared to controls and patients with benign gynecological conditions (P = 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Epithelial ovarian cancers express high levels of IGFBP-2 relative to normal ovarian epithelium, and this is associated with elevated serum IGFBP-2 levels compared to both normal controls and patients with benign gynecological disease. Our findings provide further support that the insulin-like growth factor pathway plays a significant role in epithelial ovarian cancer pathogenesis. Further, IGFBP-2 may represent an additional serum biomarker with utility in detection and monitoring of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / surgery
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / blood
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / genetics
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / surgery
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / blood
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / blood*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / blood*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery
  • Ovarian Cysts / blood
  • Ovarian Cysts / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions / blood
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics
  • Precancerous Conditions / surgery
  • Preoperative Care
  • RNA, Messenger / blood*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CA-125 Antigen
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2
  • RNA, Messenger