Reasearch Awards nomination

Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Journal of Ovarian Research and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research

Investigating the clinical potential for 14-3-3 zeta protein to serve as a biomarker for epithelial ovarian cancer

Ioannis Hatzipetros1*, Peter Gocze2, Tamas Koszegi3, Akos Jaray4, Laszlo Szereday5, Beata Polgar4, Nelli Farkas5 and Balint Farkas1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pecs, Clinical Center, Edesanyak Str. 17, 7624 Pecs, Hungary

2 Institute of Laboratory Medicine, University of Pecs, Hungary

3 Department of Radiology, University of Pecs, Hungary

4 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Pecs, Hungary

5 Institute of Bioanalysis, University of Pecs, Hungary

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Ovarian Research 2013, 6:79  doi:10.1186/1757-2215-6-79

Published: 15 November 2013



Recently, 14-3-3 zeta protein was identified as a potential serum biomarker of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The goal of this study was to investigate the clinical potential of 14-3-3 zeta protein for monitoring EOC progression compared with CA-125 and HE4.


Prospective follow-up study.


University of Pecs Medical Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Oncology (Pecs, Hungary).


Thirteen EOC patients with advanced stage (FIGO IIb-IIIc) epithelial ovarian cancer that underwent radical surgery and received six consecutive cycles of first line chemotherapy (paclitaxel, carboplatin) in 21-day intervals.


Pre- and post-chemotherapy computed tomography (CT) scans were performed. Serum levels of CA-125, HE4, and 14-3-3 zeta protein were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative electrochemiluminescence assay (ECLIA).

Main outcome measures

Serum levels of CA-125, HE4, and 14-3-3 zeta protein, as well as lesion size according to pre- and post-chemotherapy CT scans.


Serum levels of CA-125 and HE4 were found to significantly decrease following chemotherapy, and this was consistent with the decrease in lesion size detected post-chemotherapy. In contrast, 14-3-3 zeta protein levels did not significantly differ in healthy postmenopausal patients versus EOC patients.


Determination of CA-125 and HE4 serum levels for the determination of the risk of ovarian malignancy algorithm (ROMA) represents a useful tool for the prediction of chemotherapy efficacy for EOC patients. However, levels of 14-3-3 zeta protein were not found to vary significantly as a consequence of treatment. Therefore we question if 14-3-3 zeta protein is a reliable biomarker, which correlates with the clinical behavior of EOC.

Epithelial ovarian cancer; 14-3-3 Zeta protein; CA-125; HE-4; Chemotherapy; ROMA