HE4 tissue expression in borderline ovarian tumors: a pilot study by the tumorbank ovarian cancer network

Anticancer Res. 2013 Apr;33(4):1673-7.


Aim: Our purpose was to analyze the tissue expression of human epididymis protein-4 (HE4) in borderline tumors of the ovary (BOT) and to correlate it with histological subtypes and clinical features.

Patients and methods: Tumor tissue samples from 25 patients with BOT were stained on tissue microarrays. The percentage of stained tumor cells was represented by grouped immunoreactivity scores (IRS) 0 to 4.

Results: The median patient age was 47 (range=22-73) years. Tumors in most patients (19/25) were staged-FIGO I and presented serous (52%) or mucinous (40%) histology. HE4 immunoreactivity occurred exclusively within the tumor cells. No association between grouped IRS and histological type, age, CA125 and FIGO stage was found. Correlation between HE4 positivity cells and HE4 IRS was significant (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The role of HE4 in BOT remains unclear. Multicenter surveys are needed to more profoundly help in the understanding of the biological and clinical features of BOT.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / metabolism*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prognosis
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • WAP Four-Disulfide Core Domain Protein 2
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proteins
  • WAP Four-Disulfide Core Domain Protein 2
  • WFDC2 protein, human