Background: CA125 is the best available yet insufficiently sensitive biomarker for early detection of ovarian cancer. There is a need to identify novel biomarkers, which individually or in combination with CA125 can achieve adequate sensitivity and specificity for the detection of earlier-stage ovarian cancer.
Methods: In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, we measured serum levels of 92 preselected proteins for 91 women who had blood sampled ≤18 months prior to ovarian cancer diagnosis, and 182 matched controls. We evaluated the discriminatory performance of the proteins as potential early diagnostic biomarkers of ovarian cancer.
Results: Nine of the 92 markers; CA125, HE4, FOLR1, KLK11, WISP1, MDK, CXCL13, MSLN and ADAM8 showed an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of ≥0.70 for discriminating between women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and women who remained cancer-free. All, except ADAM8, had shown at least equal discrimination in previous case-control comparisons. The discrimination of the biomarkers, however, was low for the lag-time of >9-18 months and paired combinations of CA125 with any of the 8 markers did not improve discrimination compared to CA125 alone.
Conclusion: Using pre-diagnostic serum samples, this study identified markers with good discrimination for the lag-time of 0-9 months. However, the discrimination was low in blood samples collected more than 9 months prior to diagnosis, and none of the markers showed major improvement in discrimination when added to CA125.
© 2022. The Author(s).