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Serum Levels of Epidermal Growth Factor, Transforming Growth Factor, and c-erbB2 in Ovarian Cancer
  1. Eray Balcan, MD*,
  2. Fuat Demirkiran, Prof*,
  3. Yavuz Aydin, MD*,
  4. Cevdet Sanioglu, Prof*,
  5. Tugan Bese, Prof*,
  6. Macit Arvas, Prof*,
  7. Tulay Akçay, MD and
  8. Tayfur Cift, MD*
  1. *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
  2. Departments of Biochemistry, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Yavuz Aydin, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Soyak Olimpiakent sitesi. D 12 blok No 53, Halkali, Istanbul, Turkey. E-mail: yavuzay{at}


Objective This study aimed to investigate serum levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor α (TGF-α), and c-erbB2 in patients with ovarian cancer.

Materials and Methods In this retrospective cohort study, the study and control groups were composed of 43 women with a prediagnosis of ovarian cancer and 43 healthy women, respectively. Blood samples from all women were obtained and studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits for EGF, TGF-α, and c-erbB2. After surgery of the study group, ovarian cancer was confirmed and compared with control group. Stage, grade, and histological types were defined after histopathologic examination, and subgroups were constructed and compared.

Results Serum EGF, TGF-α, and c-erbB2 levels were significantly increased in study group compared with those in the control group (P < 0.001). There were no differences in serum levels of EGF, TGF-α, and c-erbB2 among all stages, grades, and histological types of ovarian cancer. If 47.90 pg/mL was selected as the cutoff value, EGF has an 80% sensitivity and a 65% specificity for detecting ovarian cancer. The cutoff value of 41,095.00 pg/mL for TGF-α has a 90% sensitivity and a 72% specificity for detecting ovarian cancer. The c-erbB2 level of 4.63 pg/mL as the cutoff value has an 83% sensitivity and a 76% specificity for predicting ovarian cancer.

Conclusions Serum levels of EGF, TGF-α, and c-erbB2 may be used for diagnosing ovarian cancer.

  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Transforming growth factor α
  • c-erbB2
  • Ovarian cancer

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  • This study was supported by a research fund from Istanbul University.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.