Mucin 13 (MUC13) as a candidate biomarker for ovarian cancer detection: potential to complement CA125 in detecting non-serous subtypes.

Annie H. Ren, Panagiota S. Filippou, Antoninus Soosaipillai, Lampros Dimitrakopoulos, Dimitrios Korbakis, Felix Leung, Vathany Kulasingam, Marcus Q. Bernardini, Eleftherios P. Diamandis

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Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy in developed countries. One of the key associations with the high mortality rate is diagnosis at late stages. This clinical limitation is primarily due to a lack of distinct symptoms and detection at the early stages. The ovarian cancer biomarker, CA125, is mainly effective for identifying serous ovarian carcinomas, leaving a gap in non-serous ovarian cancer detection. Mucin 13 (MUC13) is a transmembrane, glycosylated protein with aberrant expression in malignancies, including ovarian cancer. We explored the potential of MUC13 to complement CA125 as an ovarian cancer biomarker, by evaluating its ability to discriminate serous and non-serous subtypes of ovarian cancer at FIGO stages I-IV from benign conditions. We used our newly developed, high sensitivity ELISA to measure MUC13 protein in a large, well-defined cohort of 389 serum samples from patients with ovarian cancer and benign conditions. MUC13 and CA125 serum levels were elevated in malignant compared to benign cases (p<0.0001). Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed similar area under the curve (AUC) of 0.74 (MUC13) and 0.76 (CA125). MUC13 concentrations were significantly higher in mucinous adenocarcinomas compared to benign controls (p=0.0005), with AUC of 0.80. MUC13 and CA125 showed significant elevation in early-stage cases (stage I-II) in relation to benign controls (p=0.0012 and p=0.014, respectively). We report the novel role of MUC13 as a serum ovarian cancer biomarker, where it could complement CA125 for detecting some subtypes of non-serous ovarian carcinoma and early-stage disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0491
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


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