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Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2012 Nov;31(6):517-23. doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e31824fe269.

Immunohistochemical localization of HE4 in benign, borderline, and malignant lesions of the ovary.

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Department of Pathology, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY, USA.


Despite advances in the development of novel methods to improve treatment, ovarian carcinoma is still the leading cause of gynecologic cancer death in the United States and other industrialized nations. Improvements in the clinical outcome of ovarian cancer will be achieved if methods can be developed to enable the detection of these tumors at the earliest possible stage. Thus, it is critically important to identify and validate new biomarkers of ovarian cancer. HE4 expression was defined by immunohistochemical analysis of a wide range of benign, borderline, and malignant ovarian lesions, including serous, endometrioid, mucinous, and clear cell lesions of the ovary and in primary tubal carcinomas and the normal fallopian tube. At the cellular level, HE4 was highly expressed in malignant ovarian tumors and in a wide range of benign and borderline ovarian lesions. In addition, HE4 was highly expressed in primary fallopian tube carcinomas and benign fallopian tubal epithelial cells. These results support the conclusion that HE4 is widely expressed in most benign, borderline, and malignant lesions of the ovary and the fallopian tube. The detection of HE4 expression at high levels in some benign lesions and normal tissues suggests that HE4 could have limited specificity as a marker of ovarian or tubal carcinoma. Furthermore, the relatively weak expression that was observed in many ovarian carcinomas indicates that HE4 could fail to detect some cases of primary or recurrent disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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