Association of Serum HE4 with Primary Tumor Diameter and Depth of Myometrial Invasion in Endometrial Cancer Patients at Rajavithi Hospital


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rajavithi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand


Background: Although there are no biomarkers that are routinely used in endometrial cancer (EC) management, many studies have found that serum human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) is superior to cancer antigen 125 (CA125) in the detection of EC. The correlation of HE4 with two prognostic factors for EC, primary tumor diameter (PTD) and depth of myometrial invasion (DMI) may be useful in identifying EC patients at high risk of lymphatic dissemination. Objective: To evaluate the correlation of serum HE4 with PTD and DMI in patients with EC. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 70 EC patients who were scheduled for elective surgery at Rajavithi Hospital between 1st September 2013 and 30th May 2014. Preoperative serum levels of HE4 and CA125 were investigated, and then gross measurement of PTD was taken and postoperative pathologic slides were reviewed for DMI including histologic types, grading and staging. Results: Preoperative serum HE4 levels were strongly correlated with PTD (r=0.65, p<0.001) and moderately correlated with DMI (r=0.46, p<0.001). Moreover, serum HE4 levels were significantly elevated in EC patients with PTD >2 cm (p<0.001) and DMI > 50% (p=0.004). The performance of serum HE4 in identifying EC patients at low risk and high risk of lymph node metastasis was significantly better than that of CA125 (AUC 0.88 vs. 0.65, p=0.003). At an optimal cut-off value of 70 pM/L, serum HE4 had a sensitivity of 83.3% and a specificity of 80.0%. Conclusions: In EC patients, preoperative serum HE4 is significantly correlated with PTD and DMI. Serum HE4 levels could be useful in identifying endometrial cancer patients at high risk of lymphatic spread who would benefit from systemic lymphadenectomy at the cut-off value of 70 pM/L.