Osteopontin (sOPN) is a promising blood tumour marker for detecting epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, other clinical uses of sOPN as a tumour marker in EOC are still lacking. Since sOPN concentrations in serum are not associated with those in ascites, we compared clinical value of sOPN concentrations in the two body fluids.
Patients and methods
The study included 31 women with advanced EOC and 34 women with benign gynaecological pathology. In the EOC group, serum for sOPN analysis was obtained preoperatively, after primary debulking surgery and after chemotherapy. In the control group, serum was obtained before and after surgery. Ascites and peritoneal fluid were obtained during surgery. sOPN concentrations were determined by flow cytometry bead-based assay.
The sensitivity and specificity of sOPN in detecting EOC was 91.2% and 90.3% (cut-off = 47.4 ng/ml) in serum, and 96.8% and 100% (cut-off = 529.5 ng/ml) in ascites. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant association between higher serum sOPN concentration and overall survival (p = 0.018) or progression free survival (p = 0.008). Higher ascites sOPN concentrations were associated with suboptimally debulked tumour and unresectable disease. Higher serum sOPN concentrations were associated with refractory disease or incomplete response to platinum-based chemotherapy.
The study showed that ascites sOPN level mirrors present disease and is superior to serum level for diagnostic purposes and surgical planning, although the end result of treatment is the response of the whole body in fighting the disease. The preoperative sOPN concentration in serum thus better reflects disease outcome.