Serum HE4 is correlated to prognostic factors and survival in patients with endometrial cancer

A Stiekema, Car Lok, C M Korse, W J van Driel, V van der Noort, G G Kenter, K K Van de Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The extent of surgery and the decision for adjuvant treatment in patients with endometrial cancer (EC) depend on the presence of risk factors for lymph node metastases and disease recurrence. Postoperative markers such as myometrial infiltration and specific mutations can select patients for adjuvant treatment but will not influence surgical planning. A biomarker stratifying patients into low-risk and high-risk groups before surgery could identify patients who benefit from more extensive surgery. Therefore, we evaluated the correlation of serum biomarker HE4 with clinical and recently identified prognostic pathological variables and survival. Patients treated for endometrial cancer between 1994 and 2014 were included. Serum HE4 concentration was measured in preoperatively obtained samples. A total of 88 patients were eligible for analysis. The majority (64%) was diagnosed with endometrioid-type adenocarcinoma. Serum HE4 concentration is significantly associated with stage of disease (p = 0.001), deep myometrial invasion (p < 0.001), exact depth of myometrial invasion (≥4 mm) (p = 0.01), tumour-free distance to serosa (≤7 mm) (p < 0.001), extensive lymph vascular space invasion (p = 0.04) and cervical involvement (p = 0.001). HE4 concentration and nodal involvement were correlated, although not significant (p = 0.17). Serum HE4 is an independent prognostic factor for recurrence-free survival (HR 5.12 per 10-fold increase in HE4, 95% CI 1.54-17.1) and overall survival (HR 7.48 per 10-fold increase in HE4, 95% CI 1.76-31.7). HE4 is a prognostic marker in endometrial cancer and is helpful in addition to other variables for the preoperative risk stratification of patients with endometrial cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Cite this