Background: The aim of the present study was to compare the diagnostic utility of HE4 with NSE, ProGRP, CYFRA 21-1, CEA, and CA 125 and evaluate their prognostic value in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Methods: HE4, ProGRP, NSE, CYFRA 21-1, CEA, and CA 125 assays were performed in 63 patients with smallcell lung cancer (limited disease (LD) - 41, extensive disease (ED) - 22) and in 66 individuals of the reference group.
Results: Area under the ROC curves for HE4, ProGRP, NSE, CA 125, CYFRA 21-1, and CEA were 0.884, 0.923, 0.826, 0.796, 0.739, and 0.704, respectively. The tumor marker serum concentrations were associated with tumor stage (HE4, ProGRP, NSE, CYFRA 21-1, CEA), and disease progression occurred within one year (HE4, ProGRP, NSE, CYFRA 21-1). The tumor advancement, performance status, gender and tumor markers, except CEA and CA 125, were significantly associated with survival. Independent, unfavourable prognostic factors included extensive disease (HR 4.14, p < 0.0001) and NSE concentration above 35 g/l (HR 2.62, p = 0.0009).
Conclusions: Diagnostic utility of HE4 was similar to that of NSE and ProGRP. Complementary to NSE, determination of HE4 seems to be helpful in evaluation of SCLC patients’ prognosis.