A strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE): Are HE4 and CA 125 suitable to detect a Paget disease of the vulva?

Miriam Dellino, Giulio Gargano, Raffele Tinelli, Carmine Carriero, Carla Minoia, Skrypets Tetania, Erica Silvestris, Vera Loizzi, Angelo Paradiso, Porzia Casamassima, Antonio Tufaro, Gennaro Cormio, Vito Michele Garrisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Paget disease is a complex disorder that can be identified in the breast (mammary Paget disease) or in other locations (extramammary Paget's disease) such as ano-genital skin (Paget disease of the vulva -PVD). This condition is associated with low mortality, but a late diagnosis and recurrence can negatively impact the prognosis. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to evaluate if the human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) and cancer antigen125 (CA125) can promote recognition of PVD in early stages and during the relapses.we have conducted a prospective, observational and laboratory-based study, that included 50 patients, whose 25 healthy women represented the control group and 25 PVD patients, which have been operated in our Oncology Institute, from May 2017 to September 2019. Both in the control group and in PVD patients, the CA-125 and HE4 were evaluated before surgery and after 6 months. Finally, a comparison of markers serum level, both between before/after surgery and with control group, and a ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) curve were performed.Dosing the markers in PVD patients, 3/25 (12%) showed a higher value of CA125 and 11/25 (44%) an increased HE4. In addition, after surgical treatment there were no statistically significant difference between levels of CA-125 (P = .3) and HE4 (P = .19). On the other hand, comparing HE4 in PVD patients with the control group, a statistically significant difference was found (P-value = .0036). Contrary, comparing CA-125 in PVD patients with the control group (P-value= .1969), no statistically significant difference was evidenced. Moreover, ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) curve showed low sensitivity and specificity for CA125 with area under curve (AUC) = 0.5608. Instead, the ROC curve of HE4 revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 76% and 88% respectively (AUC = 0.7408) using a cut-off at 90 pmol/L.Despite the limited cases, our data showed that CA125 is not a sensitive marker for PVD. On the other hand, in 44% of PVD we've seen an increase in HE4. So, this could be a starting point for further research that could confirm the possibility to use this marker in order to support PVD early identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e24485
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 5 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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