IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 38 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.12892/ejgo3484.2017

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.

Open Access Original Research
New biomarkers in epithelial ovarian cancer: needed or redundant?
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1 Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Center for Gynecologic Oncology Amsterdam, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Department of Clinical Chemistry, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 Department of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2017, 38(3), 356–360;
Published: 10 June 2017

Objective: For many years, intensive research has been dedicated to the development of sensitive biomarkers to detect various malignant diseases, including for the differentiation between a benign or malignant ovarian mass. One of these biomarkers is human epididymal protein 4 (HE4), which has been shown to have a higher specificity than, and comparable sensitivity to CA125. HE4 is included in some predictive models. These new models have not yet been widely implemented in standard clinical care. The authors investigated the perceived need for new biomarkers and prediction models among Dutch gynecologists. Materials and Methods:A web-based survey containing 38 questions was sent to all gynecologists (in training) registered by the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Results: 313 respondents completed the survey (23% response rate), of which 29% were specialized in or devoted at least part of their practice to oncology. Approximately two-thirds of the respondents indicated that there is a need for a new biomarker. Respondents indicated that they would use HE4 primarily as a diagnostic tool in the case of a pelvic mass (57%), followed by screening in case of risk factors (30%), detection of recurrent disease (23%), monitoring therapy response (22%), and as a prognostic factor (10%). Only 11% would not use HE4 at all. Conclusion: Evaluating the need for new technologies and diagnostics, including biomarkers, is important to avoid expensive research with minimal clinical implications. In general, there is a perceived need for a new biomarker, if it can be used to improve the accuracy of diagnosis in patients with a pelvic mass.
Ovarian cancer
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