Correlation of serum HE4 with tumor size and myometrial invasion in endometrial cancer

Eleftheria Kalogera, Nathalie Scholler, Cecelia Powless, Amy Weaver, Ronny Drapkin, Jinping Li, Shi Wen Jiang, Karl Podratz, Nicole Urban, Sean C. Dowdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the utility of serum (HE4) as a marker for high risk disease in patients with endometrial cancer (EC). Methods: Preoperative serum HE4 levels were measured from a cohort of 75 patients surgically treated for EC. Cases were compared to matched controls without a history of cancer. HE4 levels were analyzed as a function of primary tumor diameter, grade, stage and histological subtype. Wilcoxon rank-sum test, ROC curve, Spearman rank correlation coefficient and contingency tables were used for statistical analyses. Results: Stage distribution was as follows: 49 stage I, 2 stage II, 20 stage III, 4 stage IV. Type I EC was present in 54 patients, type II in 21. Median HE4 was significantly elevated in both types I and II EC compared to controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.019, respectively). There was significant correlation between type I EC, median HE4, deep myometrial invasion (MI) (> 50%, P < 0.001) and primary tumor diameter (PTD) (> 2 cm, P = 0.002). Low risk patients (type I, MI ≤ 50% and PTD ≤ 2 cm) had significantly lower median HE4 compared to all other type I EC patients (P < 0.01). In comparison to prior investigations, HE4 (cutoff of 8 mfi) was more sensitive than CA125 in detecting advanced stage disease. Conclusion: Our data suggest that HE4 is elevated in a high proportion of EC patients, is correlated with PTD and MI, and is more sensitive than CA125 in EC. These observations suggest potential utility of HE4 in the preoperative prediction of high risk disease and the necessity for definitive surgical staging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-275
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Human epididymis protein 4 (HE4)
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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