p53 Autoantibodies as Potential Detection and Prognostic Biomarkers in Serous Ovarian Cancer

Background: This study examined the value of serum p53 autoantibodies (p53-AAb) as detection and prognostic biomarkers in ovarian cancer.

Methods: p53-AAb were detected by ELISA in sera obtained preoperatively from women undergoing surgery for a pelvic mass. This group included women subsequently diagnosed with invasive serous ovarian cancer (n = 60), nonserous ovarian cancers (n = 30), and women with benign disease (n = 30). Age-matched controls were selected from the general population (n = 120). Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed to compare the values of p53-AAb, CA 125, and HE4 as a screening biomarker. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to assess its prognostic value on survival.

Results: p53-AAb were detected in 25 of 60 (41.7%) of serous cases, 4 of 30 (13.3%) nonserous cases, 3 of 30 (10%) benign disease cases, and 10 of 120 (8.3%) controls (combined P = 0.0002). p53-AAb did not significantly improve the detection of cases [area under the curve (AUC), 0.69] or the discrimination of benign versus malignant disease (AUC, 0.64) compared with CA 125 (AUC, 0.99) or HE4 (AUC, 0.98). In multivariate analysis among cases, p53-AAb correlated only with a family history of breast cancer (P = 0.01). Detectable p53 antibodies in pretreatment sera were correlated with improved overall survival (P = 0.04; hazard ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.33-0.97) in serous ovarian cancer.

Conclusions: Antibodies to p53 are detected in the sera of 42% of patients with advanced serous ovarian cancer.

Impact: Although their utility as a preoperative diagnostic biomarker, beyond CA 125 and HE4, is limited, p53-AAb are prognostic for improved overall survival.

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