Mesothelin Antibodies ID Ovarian Cancer Risk in Infertile

Thursday, August 18, 2011 (Last Updated: 08/19/2011)

THURSDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Antibodies to mesothelin, a well characterized ovarian cancer antigen, are significantly more frequent in women with increased epidemiologic risk for ovarian cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 16 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Judith L. Luborsky, Ph.D., from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues investigated whether women with infertility have antibodies to mesothelin. Sera samples were obtained from 109 women with infertility, 28 with ovarian cancer, 24 with benign ovarian tumors or cysts, and 152 healthy women. Infertility cases included were those with a risk for ovarian cancer due to ovulatory dysfunctions (17), endometriosis (23), premature ovarian failure (POF) (25), and unexplained infertility (44). Mesothelin antibodies and circulating mesothelin antigens were assayed by immunoassay, and compared with 16 assay control sera to determine positive result.

The investigators found that, compared to controls, women with prematurely reduced ovarian function had a significantly more frequent presence of mesothelin antibodies (59 percent of women with ovulatory dysfunction, 44 percent with POF, and 25 percent with unexplained infertility). No mesothelin antibodies were found in women with endometriosis. The serum levels of mesothelin were high in most patients with ovarian cancer, but rarely elevated in women with infertility.

"Antibodies to mesothelin, a well characterized ovarian cancer antigen, occur in some women with epidemiologic risk for ovarian cancer," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Fujirebio Diagnostics Inc.

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Specialties OBGYN & Women's Health
Hematology & Oncology

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