Preliminary investigation of a new serum marker for ovarian cancer

  • Matthys H Botha University of Stellenbosch
  • Hanne Veenstra University of Stellenbosch
  • Wilhelm K Van der Merwe University of Stellenbosch
  • R Hubert Laeng University of Berne
  • James Nevin University of Cape Town
  • Leon Van Wijk University of Cape Town
  • Robert Soeters University of Cape Town
  • Sue Bird University of Cape Town
  • Paul D Van Helden University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: biomarker, carcinoma, ovary, serological, SMO47, test

Abstract

Objectives: The long-term survival rate of patients with carcinoma of the ovary is poor, because this condition is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. A reliable diagnostic and screening test is still lacking. Therefore, a serological test for a novel ovarian tumour antigen was developed and investigated in a clinical setting. This report describes this investigation, the aim of which was to provide data to decide whether the test warrants a further, large-scale trial. Methods: Serum collected from 25 patients with ovarian carcinoma, 24 healthy controls and 25 control patients with non-carcinomatous ovarian disorders was tested. The test utilises a monoclonal antibody, designated SMO47, to capture the tumour antigen and a normal form of the antigen from serum. Only the tumour antigen is detected by biotinylated Maakia amurensis lectin, which binds specifically to the sialic acid on the tumour antigen. Results: The sensitivity for the carcinoma patient group was 60% and the specificity for the control patient group was 76% when a cut-off value for 100% specificity in the healthy controls was used. The area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve was 0. 8200. CA125 tests were done on all serum, and the results compared graphically. The tumour antigen in the serum was very stable and did not seem to be affected by freezing or long storage at 4°C. Conclusions: The results of this first application of the new test are encouraging and warrant further investigation and testing of larger numbers of subjects to obtain more significant values for the sensitivity and specificity.

Author Biographies

Matthys H Botha, University of Stellenbosch
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology University of Stellenbosch
Hanne Veenstra, University of Stellenbosch
MRC Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology University of Stellenbosch
Wilhelm K Van der Merwe, University of Stellenbosch
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology University of Stellenbosch
R Hubert Laeng, University of Berne
Department of Pathology University of Berne Switzerland
James Nevin, University of Cape Town
Department of Gynaecological Oncology University of Cape Town
Leon Van Wijk, University of Cape Town
Department of Radiation Oncology University of Cape Town
Robert Soeters, University of Cape Town
Department of Gynaecological Oncology University of Cape Town
Sue Bird, University of Cape Town
Department of Nuclear Medicine University of Cape Town
Paul D Van Helden, University of Stellenbosch
MRC Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology University of Stellenbosch
Published
2012-04-12
Section
Original Research