Open Access Research

The plasma concentration of VEGF, HE4 and CA125 as a new biomarkers panel in different stages and sub-types of epithelial ovarian tumors

Sławomir Ławicki1*, Grażyna Ewa Będkowska1, Ewa Gacuta-Szumarska2 and Maciej Szmitkowski1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemical Diagnostics, Medical University Białystok, Waszyngtona 15A, Białystok 15-269, Poland

2 Department of Gynecology, Medical University, Białystok, Poland

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Ovarian Research 2013, 6:45  doi:10.1186/1757-2215-6-45

Published: 2 July 2013



VEGF may play a role in the pathogenesis of cancer disease, for example in cell growth, proliferation and angiogenesis. In this study, we investigated plasma levels of this cytokine in comparison to plasma levels of a new biomarker - HE4 and the established tumor marker CA125 in ovarian cancer patients (100) as compared to control groups: patients with a benign ovarian tumor (80) and healthy subjects (50).


Plasma levels of VEGF were determined by ELISA, HE4 and CA125 by CMIA method.


The results showed that levels of VEGF, CA125 and HE4 were significantly higher in ovarian cancer (OC) patients as compared to the both control groups. VEGF has demonstrated as high as comparative markers values of the diagnostic sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), the predictive values of positive and negative test results (PV-PR, PV-NR), and the area under the ROC curve (AUC) in early stages of cancer tested groups. The combined use of parameters studied resulted in the increase in the diagnostic criteria values and the AUC.


These findings suggest the usefulness of VEGF in the early diagnostics of ovarian cancer, especially in combination with CA125 and HE4, as a new biomarkers panel. Additionally, VEGF is the most useful tool in the diagnostics of locally advanced ovarian cancer without metastases. Investigated cytokine presented similar to HE4 usefulness in differentiation of OC according to its histopathlogical sub-type, and could be used especially in the diagnostics of endometrioid epithelial OC.

VEGF; HE4; CA125; Ovarian Cancer; Tumor Markers