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1.  Correlation of Serum CA-125 and Progesterone Levels with Ultrasound Markers in The Prediction of Pregnancy Outcome in Threatened Miscarriage 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between ultrasonographic findings and serum progesterone and cancer antigen-125 (CA-125) levels in threatened miscarriage and to predict pregnancy outcome.
Materials and Methods
In a prospective comparative case-control study, serum CA-125 and progesterone levels were measured for 100 pregnant women with threatened miscarriage who attended the outpatient clinic or the causality department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kasr El-Aini Hospital, Giza, Egypt, during the period from March 2013 to October 2013. Ultrasound was performed for fetal viability, crown-rump length (CRL), gestational sac diameter (GSD) and fetal heart rate (FHR). The patients were followed up and divided into two groups based on the outcome: 20 women who miscarried (group 1), and 80 women who continued pregnancy (group 2). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and overall accuracy were tested for CA-125 and progesterone levels in prediction of the pregnancy outcome. Correlation of these chemical markers with the ultrasound markers was also examined.
In the group that miscarried, CA-125 level was significantly higher (P<0.001) and serum progesterone level was significantly lower (P<0.001). For prediction of the outcome of pregnancy, the cut-off limit of 31.2 IU/ml for CA-125 level yielded sensitivity, specificity and an overall accuracy of 96.2, 100 and 99.4% respectively. The cut-off limit of 11.5 ng/ml for progesterone level yielded sensitivity, specificity and an overall accuracy of 97.5, 100 and 99.8% respectively. CA-125 level had a negative correlation with progesterone level and FHR levels (r=-0.716, P<0.001) and (r=-0.414, P<0.001) respectively. Serum progesterone level correlated with GSD (r=0.521, P<0.001) and with CRL (r=0.407, P<0.001) and FHR (r=0.363, P<0.001). CA-125 level was significantly higher in the group that showed hematoma as compared with the group without hematoma (P<0.001). Also, serum progesterone level was significantly lower in the group that showed hematoma as compared with the group without hematoma (P=0.017).
Serum CA-125 and progesterone levels are valid early predictors of the outcome of pregnancy in women with threatened miscarriage. They are correlated with some ultrasonographic markers (GSD, CRL, and FHR).
PMCID: PMC4793171  PMID: 26985338
First Trimester; Ultrasound; CA-125; Progesterone; Threatened Miscarriage
2.  The Daily Profiles of Circulating AMH and INSL3 in Men are Distinct from the Other Testicular Hormones, Inhibin B and Testosterone 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133637.
The testes secrete four hormones (anti-Müllerian hormone, insulin-like peptide 3, Inhibin B and testosterone) from two endocrine cell types. It is unknown whether anti-Müllerian hormone and insulin-like peptide 3 levels have a diurnal variation, and if so, whether they covary during the day with testosterone and InhB. Sera were obtained from 13 men at 00:00, 06:00, 09:00, 12:00, 14:00, 17:00 and 19:00 hours and the levels of their testicular hormones measured by ELISA. A second cohort of 20 men was similarly examined with blood drawn at 19:00 and the following 06:00. Anti-Müllerian hormone levels exhibited a subtle diurnal pattern with a 19:00 peak that was 4.9% higher on average than the 06:00 nadir (p = 0.004). The decrease in anti-Müllerian hormone coincided with a rise in testosterone and InhB, but there was no association between the person-to-person variation in the diurnal patterns of anti-Müllerian hormone and testosterone or Inhibin B. Insulin-like peptide 3 had no diurnal pattern, with only minor sporadic variation between time points being observed in some men. In conclusion, the diurnal and sporadic variation of each testicular hormone is distinct, indicating that the major regulation is at the level of the hormone rather than at the endocrine cell type. Consequently, the balance of the hormones being released by the testes has complex variation during the day. The physiological significance of this will vary depending on which combinations of testicular hormones that the target cells respond to.
PMCID: PMC4507845  PMID: 26192622
3.  Serum anti-Müllerian hormone predicts ovarian response and cycle outcome in IVF patients 
This prospective study was designed to investigate whether anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels at basal and ovulation triggering day are associated with ovarian response and pregnancy outcome for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
60 infertility women undergoing IVF were prospectively studied. On day 3 of the menstrual cycle (D3), measurements of AMH, inhibin B, FSH, LH, and E2 and ultrasound evaluation of antral follicle count (AFC) were performed. Serum AMH and inhibin B levels were remeasured on the day of hCG administration (DhCG). The outcome measures were the number of retrieved oocytes and clinical pregnancy.
Number of retrieved oocytes was statistically significant and correlated with D3 AMH, AFC, DhCG AMH, DhCG inhibin B, FSH, and age (r = 0.885, 0.874, 0.742, 0.732, −0.521, −0.385, respectively). Statistically significant differences were found between pregnant and non-pregnant women regarding D3 AMH and AFC. Multiple regression analysis for prediction of pregnancy showed D3 AMH to be a good predictor of clinical pregnancy.
AMH correlates better than age, FSH, and inhibin B with the number of retrieved oocytes. Serum basal AMH may offer a better prognostic value for clinical pregnancy than other currently available markers of IVF outcome in our preliminary study.
PMCID: PMC2758947  PMID: 19768530
Anti-Müllerian hormone; IVF; Ovarian reserve; Pregnancy
4.  The Immunoexpressions and Prognostic Significance of Inhibin Alpha and Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotrophins (hCG) in Breast Carcinomas 
Pregnancy and hCG treatments are considered essential for inhibiting breast cancer. The effect of hCG is accompanied by the synthesis of inhibin, a transforming growth factor involved in cell differentiation and proliferation. Inhibin is considered a tumor suppressor, but its role in the breast is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and tissue distribution of the expressions of inhibin-α and β-hCG in breast cancer, and their prognostic relevance with other biological parameters.
Materials and Methods
334 of formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissue blocks were selected, and then immunostained for inhibin-α and β-hCG. The inhibin-α expression was compared with those of β-hCG, ER, PR and HER-2/neu, as well as the tumor characteristics and recurrences.
Inhibin-α and β-hCG were expressed in 87 (26.0%) and 44 cases (13.2%), respectively. Inhibin-α was found in 25.1% of infiltrating ductal carcinomas (67/267), 26.7% of intraductal carcinomas (8/30), 33.3% of lobular tumors (3/9), 80.0% of apocrine carcinomas (4/5) and 21.7% of the other types (5/23). Inhibin-α was correlated with β-hCG (p<0.0001), PR (p=0.010) and HER-2/neu (p=0.021). HCG was focally expressed in the cytoplasm of the conventional types, but the apocrine type displayed diffusely intense cytoplasmic staining, which correlated with histological tumor types (p<0.001).
Inhibin was significantly correlated with the expressions of hCG, PR and HER-2/neu. Therefore, it might be a useful marker in the prevention and hormonal treatment of breast cancer, such as hCG and progesterone. HCG was expressed significantly higher in the apocrine type than the conventional types, suggesting it can be a useful adjunct in differentiating other cancer types.
PMCID: PMC2785916  PMID: 19956521
Breast neoplasms; Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG); Inhibins
5.  Male Central Precocious Puberty: Serum Profile of Anti-Müllerian Hormone and Inhibin B before, during, and after Treatment with GnRH Analogue 
We aimed to describe the functional changes of Sertoli cells, based on the measurement of serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and inhibin B during treatment with GnRHa and after its withdrawal in boys with central precocious puberty. Six boys aged 0.8 to 5.5 yr were included. AMH was low at diagnosis in patients >1 yr but within the normal range in younger patients. AMH increased to normal prepubertal levels during treatment. After GnRHa withdrawal, AMH declined concomitantly with the rise in serum testosterone. At diagnosis, inhibin B was elevated and decreased throughout therapy, remaining in the upper normal prepubertal range. In patients with testicular volume above 4 mL AMH remained higher in spite of suppressed FSH. After treatment withdrawal, inhibin B rose towards normal pubertal levels. In conclusion, AMH did not decrease in patients <1 yr reflecting the lack of androgen receptor expression in Sertoli cells in early infancy. Serum inhibin B might result from the contribution of two sources: the mass of Sertoli cells and the stimulation exerted by FSH. Sertoli cell markers might provide additional tools for the diagnosis and treatment followup of boys with central precocious puberty.
PMCID: PMC3845850  PMID: 24324495
6.  Urinary gonadotropin fragment (UGF) measurements in the diagnosis and management of ovarian cancer. 
UGF is a small peptide present in the urines and tissues of patients with gynecologic cancers. Published research (which, at present, mainly comes from our laboratory) on the general application of UGF as a tumor marker, and on its use in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, is reviewed, and new studies on its use, alone and with CA125, in the management of patients with ovarian cancer, are presented. In 234 healthy women, 89 with benign disease, and 79 with ovarian cancer, UGF levels were above 3 fmol/ml (low cut-off) in 12 percent, 7 percent, and 82 percent, respectively, and above 8 fmol/ml (high cut-off) in 1.7 percent, less than 1.1 percent, and 59 percent, respectively. Similarly, 11 percent, 14 percent, and 70 percent, respectively, had CA125 levels above 35 U/ml (low cut-off), and less than 1.9 percent, 1.2 percent, and 49 percent had levels above a 200 U/ml (high cut-off). Ideally, the higher UGF and CA125 cut-offs should be used for diagnostic applications, like differentiation of a benign from a malignant pelvic mass (false-positive rate: UGF, less than 1.1 percent; CA125, 1.2 percent), but raising the cut-offs diminishes sensitivities for malignancy (UGF, 59 percent; CA125, 49 percent). The populations detected by the two markers only partially overlap, however, so that, together, UGF or CA125 can identify 75 percent of malignant pelvic masses. Levels of UGF (cut-off, greater than 3 fmol/ml) and CA125 (35 U/ml) were also monitored in 30 women undergoing therapy for ovarian cancer. Clinical observations were reflected at each clinic visit by UGF alone in 67 percent, by CA125 alone in 57 percent, and by UGF and CA125 together in 87 percent of cases. While separately UGF and CA125 levels predicted 71 percent and 57 percent, together they forecast 86 percent of recurrent cancers prior to clinical manifestations. UGF and CA125 should be used together in the detection and management of ovarian cancers.
PMCID: PMC2589077  PMID: 2596125
7.  Gestational Age-specific Cut-off Values Are Needed for Diagnosis of Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Early Pregnancy 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2015;30(9):1308-1312.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) >2.5 mIU/L has been suggested as the universal criterion for subclinical hypothyroidism. However, TSH levels change continuously during pregnancy, even in the first trimester. Therefore the use of a fixed cut-off value for TSH may result in a different diagnosis rate of subclinical hypothyroidism according to gestational age. The objective of this study was to obtain the normal reference range of TSH during the first trimester in Korean gravida and to determine the diagnosis rate of subclinical hypothyroidism using the fixed cut-off value (TSH >2.5 mIU/L). The study population consisted of pregnant women who were measured for TSH during the first trimester of pregnancy (n=492) and nonpregnant women (n=984). Median concentration of TSH in pregnant women was lower than in non-pregnant women. There was a continuous decrease of median TSH concentration during the first trimester of pregnancy (median TSH concentration: 1.82 mIU/L for 3+0 to 6+6 weeks; 1.53 mIU/L for 7+0 to 7+6 weeks; and 1.05 mIU/L for 8+0 to 13+6 weeks). Using the fixed cut-off value of TSH >2.5 mIU/L, the diagnosis rate of subclinical hypothyroidism decreased significantly according to the gestational age (GA) at TSH (25% in 3+0 to 6+6 weeks, 13% in 7+0 to 7+6 weeks, and 9% for 8+0 to 13+6 weeks, P<0.001), whereas the diagnosis rate was 5% in all GA with the use of a GA-specific cut-off value (P=0.995). Therefore, GA-specific criteria might be more appropriate for the diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism.
PMCID: PMC4553679  PMID: 26339172
Hypothyroidism; Pregnancy Trimester, First; Thyrotropin; Reference Values
8.  Prediction of Postchemotherapy Ovarian Function Using Markers of Ovarian Reserve 
The Oncologist  2013;19(1):68-74.
Chemotherapy results in transient or permanent ovarian failure in the majority of women. Prechemotherapy assessment of serum anti-Müllerian hormone may be useful for predicting postchemotherapy ovarian function. This finding has implications for decision making about adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal women treated with chemotherapy.
Learning Objectives
Explain the association between clinical factors and postchemotherapy ovarian function.Explain the association between biochemical markers and postchemotherapy ovarian function.Discuss the role that age and anti-Müllerian hormone may play in prediction of postchemotherapy ovarian function status.
Reproductive-aged women frequently receive both chemotherapy and endocrine therapy as part of their treatment regimen for early stage hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Chemotherapy results in transient or permanent ovarian failure in the majority of women. The difficulty in determining which patients will recover ovarian function has implications for adjuvant endocrine therapy decision making. We hypothesized that pretreatment serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and inhibin B concentrations would predict for ovarian function following chemotherapy.
Pre- and perimenopausal women aged 25–50 years with newly diagnosed breast cancer were enrolled. Subjects underwent phlebotomy for assessment of serum AMH, inhibin B, follicle-stimulating hormone, and estradiol prior to chemotherapy and 1 month and 1 year following completion of treatment. Associations among hormone concentrations, clinical factors, and biochemically assessed ovarian function were assessed.
Twenty-seven subjects were evaluable for the primary endpoint. Median age was 41. Twenty subjects (74.1%) experienced recovery of ovarian function within 18 months. Of the 26 evaluable subjects assessed prior to chemotherapy, 19 (73.1%) had detectable serum concentrations of AMH. The positive predictive value of a detectable baseline serum AMH concentration for recovery of ovarian function was 94.7%, and the negative predictive value was 85.7%. On univariate analysis, younger age and detectable serum AMH concentration at chemotherapy initiation were predictive of increased likelihood of recovery of ovarian function.
Prechemotherapy assessment of serum AMH may be useful for predicting postchemotherapy ovarian function. This finding has implications for decision making about adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal women treated with chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3903057  PMID: 24319018
Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Ovarian function; Anti-Müllerian hormone
9.  Serum anti-Müllerian hormone and antral follicle count as predictive markers of OHSS in ART cycles 
To evaluate predictive role of day–3 serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels and antral follicle count (AFC) in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) in patients undergoing IVF/ICSI cycles.
Materials and methods
Forty-one women with moderate/severe OHSS and 41 age matched women without OHSS were compared to evaluate the predictive value of certain risk factors for OHSS. AFC, and E2, FSH, LH, AMH, inhibin-B levels measured on day 3 of the menstrual cycle before controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
Mean FSH was significantly lower (p < 0.0001); and mean LH, AFC and AMH were significantly higher in women with OHSS compared to women without OHSS (p = 0.049, p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0001, respectively). There was no significant difference in inhibin B (p = 0.112) and estradiol (p = 0.706) between the groups. The ROC area under curve (AUC) for AMH presented the largest AUC among the listed risk factors. AMH (AUC = 0.87) and AFC (AUC = 0.74) had moderate accuracy for predicting OHSS while Inhibin B (AUC = 0.58) and LH (AUC = 0.61) had low accuracy. The cut-off value for AMH 3.3 ng/mL provided the highest sensitivity (90%) and specificity (71%) for predicting OHSS. It’s positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) were 61% and 94%, respectively. The cut-off value for AFC was 8 with 78% sensitivity, 65% specificity, 52% PPV and 86% NPV.
Measurement of basal serum AMH and AFC can be used to determine the women with high risk for OHSS.
PMCID: PMC3241835  PMID: 21882017
Antimullerian hormone; Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome; Antral follicle count
10.  Novel Family of Gynecologic Cancer Antigens Detected by Anti-HIV Antibody 
Objective: The reactivity of gynecologic cancer proteins with monoclonal antibody (MAb) directed against the human immunodeficiency virus I (HIV-I) was tested.
Methods: Cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins, extracted from a broad range of gynecologic cancers obtained during standard surgical procedures, were tested in Western blotting with MAb 5023 developed against the amino acid sequences 308–322 of the envelope protein gp120 of HIV-I.
Results: Three cell membrane proteins, Mrl20,000 (p120), Mr41,000 (p41), and Mr24,000 (p24), and one chromatin protein, Mr24,000 (p24), were detected by MAb 5023 in invasive, poorly differentiated cervical squamous-cell carcinoma; ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma; poorly and well-differentiated endometrial carcinoma; vulvar squamous-cell carcinoma; and malignant mixed müllerian tumor. The same antigens were identified in cervical carcinoma cell line SiHa. Neither p120 nor p24 was recognized by other MAbs directed against the variable loop of gp120. Antigens p120 and p41 were undetectable in normal ovarian tissue and in biopsy samples of normal vaginal and rectal mucosa. Rectosigmoid cancer as well as colon carcinoma, lung carcinoma, and melanoma cell lines all tested negative.
Conclusions: The identified antigens may represent either the products of human genes (proto-onc-ogenes) or, more likely, the products of an unknown virus specifically expressed in female cancer.
PMCID: PMC2364385  PMID: 18475387
11.  Functional Maintenance of Differentiated Embryoid Bodies in Microfluidic Systems: A Platform for Personalized Medicine 
The utility and advantage of a microfluidic chip culture system to enhance the development of personalized, on-demand, treatment modules using embryoid bodies (EBs) is demonstrated. Under microfluidic conditions, differentiated steroidogenic EBs continued to secrete estradiol and progesterone at physiologically relevant concentrations. These results present a platform for the development of a new therapeutic system for personalized medicine.
Hormone replacement therapies have become important for treating diseases such as premature ovarian failure or menopausal complications. The clinical use of bioidentical hormones might significantly reduce some of the potential risks reportedly associated with the use of synthetic hormones. In the present study, we demonstrate the utility and advantage of a microfluidic chip culture system to enhance the development of personalized, on-demand, treatment modules using embryoid bodies (EBs). Functional EBs cultured on microfluidic chips represent a platform for personalized, patient-specific treatment cassettes that can be cryopreserved until required for treatment. We assessed the viability, differentiation, and functionality of EBs cultured and cryopreserved in this system. During extended microfluidic culture, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and anti-müllerian hormone levels were measured, and the expression of differentiated steroidogenic cells was confirmed by immunocytochemistry assay for the ovarian tissue markers anti-müllerian hormone receptor type II, follicle-stimulating hormone receptor, and inhibin β-A and the estrogen biosynthesis enzyme aromatase. Our studies showed that under microfluidic conditions, differentiated steroidogenic EBs continued to secrete estradiol and progesterone at physiologically relevant concentrations (30–120 pg/ml and 150–450 pg/ml, respectively) for up to 21 days. Collectively, we have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of using a microfluidic chip system with continuous flow for the differentiation and extended culture of functional steroidogenic stem cell-derived EBs, the differentiation of EBs into cells expressing ovarian antigens in a microfluidic system, and the ability to cryopreserve this system with restoration of growth and functionality on thawing. These results present a platform for the development of a new therapeutic system for personalized medicine.
PMCID: PMC4339847  PMID: 25666845
Stem cells; Cryopreservation; Microenvironment; Microphysiological systems; Hormone secretion; Reproductive medicine
12.  A Pilot Study of Predictive Markers of Chemotherapy-Related Amenorrhea Among Premenopausal Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer 
Cancer investigation  2008;26(3):286-295.
Premenopausal women treated for early stage breast cancer (ESBC) are at risk for chemotherapy-related amenorrhea (CRA). Prospectively-validated, predictive markers of CRA are needed.
Patients and Methods
Premenopausal women with ESBC and planned chemotherapy (≥ 25% risk of amenorrhea) were evaluated. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, Inhibin A and B, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), and quality of life (QOL) were prospectively evaluated pre-, post-, 6 months and 1 year post-chemotherapy and correlated with age and menstrual status. CRA was defined as absence of menses 1 year post-chemotherapy.
Forty-four women were evaluated at the time of analysis. Median age at diagnosis and FSH 1 year post-chemotherapy were higher among women with CRA (44 yrs [33–51] vs. 40 yrs [31–43]; p = 0.03; 39.8 vs. 5.0 mLU/mL, p = 0.0058, respectively). Median estradiol 1 year post-chemotherapy was higher among women who resumed menses (108.3 vs. 41.3 pg/mL, p = 0.01). Pre-chemotherapy median Inhibin B and AMH were lower among women with CRA (33.2 vs. 108.8 pg/mL; p = 0.03; 0.16 vs. 1.09 ng/mL, p = 0.02, respectively). The risk of CRA was increased among women with lower pre-chemotherapy Inhibin B (RR = 1.67, p = 0.15) and AMH (RR = 1.83, p = 0.05). Amongst women whose pre-chemotherapy Inhibin B and AMH values were below the median, the incidence of CRA was 87.5%.
Results indicate that pre-chemotherapy Inhibin B and AMH are lower among women experiencing CRA and may be predictive of CRA among premenopausal women facing chemotherapy for ESBC.
PMCID: PMC2883164  PMID: 18317970
Amenorrhea; Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Premenopausal; Quality of life
13.  Anti-Mullerian-hormone levels during pregnancy and postpartum 
The number of unintentionally childless couples is increasing as more couples seek to conceive for the first time in the third or fourth decade of the woman’s life. Determination of ovarian reserve is an essential component of infertility assessment. The Anti-Müllerian-Hormone (AMH) seems to be the most reliable predictor of ovarian reserve. In this study we analyzed AMH in a cohort of pregnant women without fertility impairment to determine age-dependent decline and possible AMH fluctuations during pregnancy and postpartum.
A total of 554 healthy women aged 16 to 47 years without history of infertility or previous surgery on the ovaries were enrolled in the study between 1995 and 2012. In 450 women, a single measurement of AMH was taken during pregnancy, allowing for cross sectional analysis of trimester- and age-related differences in AMH levels. For another 15 women longitudinal data on AMH levels for all trimesters was recorded. In addition, for 69 women AMH was measured at the time just before and after delivery, and for another 20 AMH was measured just before delivery and once on each of the first four days after delivery. We used AMH-Gen-II ELISA (Beckman Coulter, Immunotech, Webster, USA) for the assessment of AMH levels. Non-parametric statistical tests were used to compare AMH levels between age groups, trimesters and postpartum.
Comparison between the trimesters revealed a significant difference in AMH values at each trimester (first trimester: 1.69 ng/ml (IQR 0.71–3.10), second trimester: 0.8 ng/ml (IQR 0.48–1.41), third trimester: 0.5 ng/ml (IQR 0.18–1.00)). AMH significantly dropped during the course of pregnancy and immediately after delivery, whereas an increase was observed over the first four days postpartum. Women, greater than or equal to 35 years, showed significant lower AMH levels than those <35 years across all trimesters.
AMH levels decrease during pregnancy. The decline in AMH levels during pregnancy indicates ovarian suppression. AMH levels recover quickly after delivery. AMH levels assessed in pregnant women are not an accurate indicator of ovarian reserve, since AMH levels during pregnancy seem not to be independent of gestational age.
PMCID: PMC3724719  PMID: 23844593
Anti-mullerian hormone; Pregnancy; Postpartum; Ovarian suppression; Ovarian reserve
14.  Mechanism and preclinical prevention of increased breast cancer risk caused by pregnancy 
eLife  2013;2:e00996.
While a first pregnancy before age 22 lowers breast cancer risk, a pregnancy after age 35 significantly increases life-long breast cancer risk. Pregnancy causes several changes to the normal breast that raise barriers to transformation, but how pregnancy can also increase cancer risk remains unclear. We show in mice that pregnancy has different effects on the few early lesions that have already developed in the otherwise normal breast—it causes apoptosis evasion and accelerated progression to cancer. The apoptosis evasion is due to the normally tightly controlled STAT5 signaling going astray—these precancerous cells activate STAT5 in response to pregnancy/lactation hormones and maintain STAT5 activation even during involution, thus preventing the apoptosis normally initiated by oncoprotein and involution. Short-term anti-STAT5 treatment of lactation-completed mice bearing early lesions eliminates the increased risk after a pregnancy. This chemoprevention strategy has important implications for preventing increased human breast cancer risk caused by pregnancy.
eLife digest
Pregnancy changes the probability that a woman will later develop breast cancer. If a woman’s first pregnancy occurs before her 22nd birthday, the chances of developing breast cancer are reduced. However, if the first pregnancy occurs after her 35th birthday, there is an increased risk of breast cancer. It is not clear why this age-related difference exists, but as more women wait until their 30s to start a family, there is greater urgency to understand this difference.
Breasts undergo extensive changes during pregnancy. This remodeling makes their cells less likely to multiply, and also less likely to develop tumors, which could explain the protective effect of pregnancy for younger women. But why would older women not reap the same benefits? One hypothesis is that older first-time mothers are more likely than younger first-time mothers to already have breast tissue with cells carrying cancer-causing mutations, or to have clusters of abnormal precancerous cells.
Now, Haricharan et al. have tested this hypothesis by inserting two cancer-causing genes into female mice. Half of the mice were then made pregnant and allowed to nurse their young, whilst the other half were never mated. Although, both groups of mice later developed tumors, the mice that had been pregnant developed more tumors and did so faster.
The increased cancer levels in the mice that had been pregnant were not due to them having more precancerous cells at the early stages of pregnancy than the unmated mice of the same age. Further, the precancerous cells in the impregnated mice did not proliferate faster than those in the mice that were never pregnant. Instead, pregnancy weakened the protective process that culls pre-existing precancerous cells. These cells evaded destruction by activating a signaling pathway called the STAT5 pathway in response to pregnancy hormones.
Haricharan et al. also examined tissue samples from women with a very early form of breast cancer and found elevated levels of STAT5 in tumors from women who had been pregnant compared to those who had not been pregnant.
The good news is that precancerous cells do not always become cancerous. However, for those women with a high risk of developing breast cancer, Haricharan et al. suggest that temporarily reducing STAT5 activity after pregnancy with medication might reduce this risk. Treating mice with anti-STAT5 drugs for a few weeks after they finished nursing their young lessened the elevated cancer risk, and so the next challenge is to see if this approach will also be effective in human clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC3874103  PMID: 24381245
STAT5; pregnancy; breast cancer; chemoprevention; Human; Mouse
15.  GATA-3 EXPRESSION IN TROPHOBLASTIC TISSUES: An Immunohistochemical Study of 445 Cases, Including Diagnostic Utility 
Immunohistochemical expression of GATA-3 is seen predominantly in non-neoplastic bladder and breast epithelium and their respective carcinomas; however, data on expression in normal and lesional trophoblastic tissues are limited. Immunohistochemical staining for GATA-3 was assessed in a range of normal/lesional trophoblastic tissues and tumors in the differential diagnosis (n=445), including non-molar products of conceptions/2nd and 3rd trimester placentas/ ectopic pregnancies, hydatidiform moles, placental site nodules, normal/exaggerated implantation sites, choriocarcinomas, epithelioid trophoblastic tumors, placental site trophoblastic tumors, atypical smooth muscle tumors (including leiomyosarcoma), and cervical and pulmonary squamous cell carcinomas. The extent of expression (0 to 4+) and intensity (weak to strong) were recorded. All cases with developing trophoblast/non-neoplastic trophoblastic proliferations and 81% of trophoblastic neoplasms were positive. Of all non-neoplastic trophoblast cell types, expression was observed in cytotrophoblast in 89% of cases, syncytiotrophoblast in 50%, intermediate trophoblast in 100%, and villous trophoblastic columns in 100%. Increasing gestational age was associated with a decrease in extent/intensity of expression in non-neoplastic cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast while intermediate trophoblast maintained diffuse and strong expression from early to late gestation (p<0.0001). Eighty-nine percent of normal/exaggerated implantation sites showed 3+ or 4+ expression while staining in 55% of placental site nodules was 1+ or 2+. Staining for GATA-3 was present in 78% of choriocarcinomas, 95% of epithelioid trophoblastic tumors, and 71% of placental site trophoblastic tumors. While the number of choriocarcinomas and placental site trophoblastic tumors that showed a spectrum of expression ranging from negative to diffuse was relatively evenly distributed, 81% of epithelioid trophoblastic tumors had 3+ or 4+ staining. None of the atypical smooth muscle tumors and 3% of squamous cell carcinomas were positive, all of which exhibited weak staining. We conclude that GATA-3 is frequently expressed in normal and lesional trophoblastic tissues. It is also differentially expressed in intermediate trophoblast and cytotrophoblast/syncytiotrophoblast, which varies according to time during pregnancy. This study expands the spectrum of neoplasms known to express GATA-3. Thus, recognition of expression in trophoblastic tumors is important because it can present a diagnostic pitfall in the assessment of suspected metastatic bladder or breast carcinomas involving the gynecologic tract. In the evaluation of diagnostically problematic tumors for which trophoblastic neoplasms are in the differential diagnosis, such as leiomyosarcoma and squamous cell carcinoma, GATA-3 can be included as part of an immunohistochemical panel particularly when other trophoblastic markers are either not available or yield ambiguous results.
PMCID: PMC4268033  PMID: 25188865
GATA-3; trophoblast; choriocarcinoma; leiomyosarcoma; squamous cell carcinoma
16.  Anti-Müllerian Hormone and Inhibin B Variability during Normal Menstrual Cycles 
Fertility and sterility  2009;94(4):1482-1486.
Describe anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) variation across normal menstrual cycles.
Cohort study
Academic environment
Twenty regularly-menstruating women
Serum AMH and inhibin B assayed daily during one normal menstrual cycle
Main Outcome Measures
Intracycle variability of AMH and inhibin B
Data was classified into quartiles of AMH area-under-the-curve (AUCs). Mean AMH AUC was 15.7 ng/ml for Quartile 1 vs. 43.5, 80.9 and 144.9 ng/ml for Quartiles 2, 3 and 4. Mean AMH levels (ng/ml) were 0.67, 1.71, 3.02, and 5.33, respectively. There was no variation in Quartile 1 AMH rate of change from stochastic modeling, but in Quartiles 2–4, there were increased rates of change in days 2–7. Women in Quartile 1 had the lowest mean inhibin B (24.2 pg/ml vs. 44.3, 43.2, and 42.2 pg/ml) and had shorter menstrual cycles (24.6 days) than women in Quartiles 3 and 4 (28.2 and 28.4 days).
There were two menstrual cycle patterns of AMH. The “aging ovary” pattern included low AMH levels with little variation, lower inhibin B and shorter cycle lengths. The “younger ovary” pattern included higher AMH levels with significant variation days 2–7, suggesting that for women with AMH >1 ng/ml, the interpretation of AMH levels is contingent upon the day of the menstrual cycle on which specimen is obtained.
PMCID: PMC2891288  PMID: 19969291
AMH; menstrual cycle variability; ovarian aging; reproductive aging; ovarian reserve
17.  Comparing Seminal Plasma Biomarkers between Normospermic and Azoospermic Men 
Azoospermia affects more than 10% - 15% of infertile male subjects attending infertilty clinics. At present, testicular biopsy is the golden standard procedure for evaluating spermatogenesis status in men with azoospermia. Semen collection and analysis is a non-invasive method and has proven to be valuable in the evaluation of spermatogenesis. Identification of seminal plasma markers with testicular or extra-testicular origins have a great value in predicting the prescence of sperm in testicular tissue and presumptive cause of azoospermia. The aim of this study was to find such markers by comparing the content of seminal plasma using different methods in normospermic and azoospermic men.
Materials and Methods
Semen samples were collected from 200 men attending Avicenna Infertility Clinic (AIC) in Tehran, Iran. Semen samples were analysed according to WHO guidlines. The subjects were divided into two groups: normospermic (n = 100; group one) and azoospermic men (n = 100; group two) according to semen analysis results. Seminal plasma was separated by high speed centrifuagation and stored in -20° C. Four markers including fructose, neutral alpha glucosidase (NαG), inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) were measured in seminal plasma. Fructose and NαG were evaluated by spectrophotometry, while inhibin B and AMH were assessed by ELISA method. The spermatogenesis status in the azoospermic group was evaluated by histopathological method following testicular biopsy.
Fructose concentration showed no difference between the two groups. However, it was significantly correlated with sperm count (p < 0.01, r = -0.408). Seminal plasma inhibin B (OR: 1.01; 95%: CI: 1.005 - 1.016), AMH (OR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.17 - 2.28) and NαG, (OR: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.04 - 1.1) levels were higher in normospermic subjects compared to azoospermic men. There were significant differences in inhibin B and AMH concentrations between the two groups based on the presence or absence of mature sperm in testicular biopsies (p < 0.01). Inhibin B concentration was positively correlated with sperm count in the normospermic group, however, NαG concentration correlated with sperm count of normospermic men (p < 0.01, r = 0.345) and the subjects' age in both groups.
Inhibin B and AMH were correlated with the presence of sperm in testicular tissue samples. According to non-specific changes in inhibin B and AMH concentrations, identification of more specific molecular markers in seminal plasma to definitely evaluate the status of spermatogenesis is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3719273  PMID: 23926479
Anti-Mullerian Hormone; Azoospermia; Fructose; Inhibin B; Male infertility; Neutral alpha glucosidase; Seminal plasma; Spermatogenesis
18.  Relation between single serum progesterone assay and viability of the first trimester pregnancy 
SpringerPlus  2012;1(1):80.
This study was designed to detect the relation between serum progesterone and viability of pregnancy during the first trimester. Prospective study carried out in Al-Rashid Maternity and Ahmadi Kuwait oil company hospitals, over three years from February 2009 to February 2012. Two hundred and Sixty (260) pregnant women were hospitalized due to vaginal bleeding and/or abdominal pain during the first trimester of their pregnancies and were included in this study. Women included in this study were; sure of dates, conceived spontaneously with no history of infertility and had a positive serum pregnancy test. 2 ml blood samples were taken for women included in this study for serum progesterone assay. Women included in this study were followed by ultrasound for the viability of the pregnancy till the end of first trimester and the outcome of their pregnancy were recorded, while women with exogenous progesterone support or multiple pregnancies or suspected ectopic pregnancy or Hydatiform mole were excluded from this study. Data were collected and statistically analyzed to detect the relationship between serum progesterone level and viability of pregnancy during the first trimester. The mean age of the studied population was 32.7 ± 5.1 years, the mean gestational age at progesterone assay was 9.7 ± 0.5 week and by the end of the first trimester, women included in this study were classified according to the viability of their pregnancies into; viable pregnancy group 178 (68.5%) cases and non-viable pregnancy group (ended by miscarriage) 82 (31.5%) cases. The mean serum progesterone of the studied population was significantly high in viable pregnancy group (46.5 ± 7.4 ng/ml) compared to non-viable pregnancy group (9.9 ± 4.8 ng/ml), (p <0.05). In this study; 6.7% of viable pregnancies had serum progesterone level <10 ng/ ml, while 20.7% of non-viable pregnancies had serum progesterone level >10 ng/ml, the serum progesterone at cut off level 10 ng/ml was 79.3% sensitive to diagnose non-viable pregnancy and was 93.3% specific to diagnose viable pregnancy. Also, in this study; 1.1% of viable pregnancies had serum progesterone level <20 ng/ ml, while 4.8% of non-viable pregnancies had serum progesterone level >20 ng/ml, the serum progesterone at cut off level 20 ng/ml was 95.1% sensitive to diagnose non-viable pregnancy and was 98.9% specific to diagnose viable pregnancy. Serum progesterone is a reliable marker for early pregnancy failure and single assay of its serum level can differentiate between viable and non-viable pregnancies.
PMCID: PMC3568470  PMID: 23420141
Serum progesterone; Viability; First trimester pregnancy
19.  Maternal Serum and Amniotic Fluid Inhibin A Levels in Women who Subsequently Develop Severe Preeclampsia 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(3):452-456.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether maternal serum (MS) and amniotic fluid (AF) inhibin A levels are elevated in patients who subsequently develop severe preecalmpsia, and to investigate the correlation between MS and AF inhibin A levels in the second trimester. The study included 40 patients who subsequently developed severe preecalmpsia and 80 normal pregnant women. Inhibin A levels in MS and AF were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The MS and AF inhibin A levels in patients who developed severe preeclampsia were significantly higher than those in the control group (both for p<0.001). There was a positive correlation between MS and AF inhibin A levels in patients who developed severe preeclampsia (r=0.397, p=0.011), but not in the control group (r=0.185, p=0.126). The best cutoff values of MS and AF inhibin A levels for the prediction of severe preeclampsia were 427 pg/mL and 599 pg/mL, respectively; the estimated ORs that were associated with these cut-off values were 9.95 (95% CI 3.8-25.9, p<0.001) and 6.0 (95% CI 2.3-15.8, p<0.001). An elevated level of inhibin A in MS and AF at the time of second trimester amniocentesis may be a risk factor for the subsequent development of severe preeclampsia.
PMCID: PMC2729950  PMID: 16778388
Pre-Eclampsia; inhibin A; Biological Markers; Serum Marker; Maternal Serum; Phenytoin; Amniotic Fluid
20.  Anti-Müllerian hormone: correlation with testosterone and oligo- or amenorrhoea in female adolescence in a population-based cohort study 
Human Reproduction (Oxford, England)  2014;29(10):2317-2325.
Can serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels measured in female adolescents predict polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-associated features in adolescence and early adulthood?
AMH levels associated well with PCOS-associated features (such as testosterone levels and oligoamenorrhoea) in adolescence, but was not an ideal marker to predict PCOS-associated features in early adulthood.
Several studies have reported that there is a strong correlation between antral follicle count and serum AMH levels and that women with PCOS/PCO have significantly higher serum AMH levels than women with normal ovaries. Other studies have reported an association between AMH serum levels and hyperandrogenism in adolescence, but none has prospectively assessed AMH as a risk predictor for developing features of PCOS during adulthood.
A subset of 400 girls was selected from the prospective population-based Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (n = 4567 at age 16 and n = 4503 at age 26). The population has been followed from 1986 to the present.
At age 16, 400 girls (100 from each testosterone quartile: 50 with oligo- or amenorrhoea and 50 with a normal menstrual cycle) were selected at random from the cohort for AMH measurement. Metabolic parameters were also assessed at age 16 in all participants. Postal questionnaires enquired about oligo- or amenorrhoea, hirsutism, contraceptive use and reproductive health at ages 16 and 26.
There was a significant correlation between AMH and testosterone at age 16 (r = 0.36, P < 0.001). AMH levels at age 16 were significantly higher among girls with oligo- or amenorrhoea compared with girls with normal menstrual cycles (35.9 pmol/l [95% CI: 33.2;38.6] versus 27.7 pmol/l [95% CI: 25.0;30.4], P < 0.001). AMH at age 16 was higher in girls who developed hirsutism at age 26 compared with the non-hirsute group (31.4 pmol/l [95% CI 27.1;36.5] versus 25.8 pmol/l [95% CI 23.3;28.6], P = 0.036). AMH at age 16 was also higher in women with PCOS at age 26 compared with the non-PCOS subjects (38.1 pmol/l [95% CI 29.1;48.4] versus 30.2 pmol/l [95% CI 27.9;32.4], P = 0.044). The sensitivity and specificity of the AMH (cut-off 22.5 pmol/l) for predicting PCOS at age 26 was 85.7 and 37.5%, respectively. The addition of testosterone did not significantly improve the accuracy of the test. There was no significant correlation between AMH levels and metabolic indices at age 16.
AMH is related to oligo- or amenorrhoea in adolescence, but it is not a good marker for metabolic factors. The relatively low rate of participation in the questionnaire at age 26 may also have affected the results. AMH was measured in a subset of the whole cohort. AMH measurement is lacking international standardization and therefore the concentrations and cut-off points are method dependent.
Using a high enough cut-off value of AMH to predict which adolescents are likely to develop PCOS in adulthood could help to manage the condition from an early age due to a good sensitivity. However, because of its low specificity, it is not an ideal diagnostic marker, and its routine use in clinical practice cannot, at present, be recommended.
The study was funded by a grant from Wellcome Trust (089549/Z/09/Z) to H.L., S.F. and M.-R.J. Study funding was also received from Oulu University Hospital Research Funds, Sigrid Juselius Foundation and the Academy of Finland. None of the authors have any competing interest to declare.
PMCID: PMC4164146  PMID: 25056088
AMH; female adolescence; PCOS; oligo- or amenorrhoea; testosterone
21.  Inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone as markers of gonadal function after hematopoietic cell transplantation during childhood 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:20.
It is difficult to predict the reproductive capacity of children given hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) before pubertal age because the plasma concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are not informative and no spermogram can be done.
We classified the gonadal function of 38 boys and 34 girls given HCT during childhood who had reached pubertal age according to their pubertal development and FSH and LH and compared this to their plasma inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH).
Ten (26%) boys had normal testicular function, 16 (42%) had isolated tubular failure and 12 (32%) also had Leydig cell failure. All 16 boys given melphalan had tubular failure. AMH were normal in 25 patients and decreased in 6, all of whom had increased FSH and low inhibin B.
Seven (21%) girls had normal ovarian function, 11 (32%) had partial and 16 (47%) complete ovarian failure. 7/8 girls given busulfan had increased FSH and LH and 7/8 had low inhibin B. AMH indicated that ovarian function was impaired in all girls.
FSH and inhibin B were negatively correlated in boys (P < 0.0001) and girls (P = 0.0006). Neither the age at HCT nor the interval between HCT and evaluation influenced gonadal function.
The concordance between FSH and inhibin B suggests that inhibin B may help in counselling at pubertal age. In boys, AMH were difficult to use as they normally decrease when testosterone increases at puberty. In girls, low AMH suggest that there is major loss of primordial follicles.
PMCID: PMC3058047  PMID: 21352536
22.  Inhibin as a marker for ovarian cancer. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;71(5):1046-1050.
Inhibin is a polypeptide hormone produced by the granulosa cells of the ovary, and is present in body fluids as dimers of various sizes each comprising an alpha- and beta-subunit. Free forms of the alpha-subunit also circulate, and the presently available radioimmunoassay (Monash assay) cannot distinguish these from biologically active dimeric inhibin. Recently we described a new two-site enzyme immunoassay able for the first time to measure the levels of dimeric inhibin throughout the human menstrual cycle. The sensitivity limit of this assay is 2 pg ml-1 in human serum with cross-reactivity against activin of 0.05%. The normal range of inhibin in post-menopausal women is < 5 pg ml-1, in pre-menopausal women 2-80 pg ml-1 (2-10 pg ml-1 in the follicular phase, 40-80 pg ml-1 in the luteal phase). This assay was used to determine inhibin levels in sera from 15 (five pre-menopausal and ten post-menopausal) patients with granulosa cell tumours of the ovary. It was raised in a pre-menopausal patient preoperatively (261 pg ml-1), in six post-menopausal patients (32, 43, 54, 66, 24 and 58 pg ml-1) and one pre-menopausal patient with recurrent tumour, (237 pg ml-1), all confirmed clinically. Inhibin was normal in six patients in remission. Oestradiol levels were normal in all patients. Serial levels of inhibin predicted recurrence before overt clinical relapse in two patients. In 29 patients with malignant epithelial ovarian tumours inhibin levels were modestly elevated in nine and normal in the rest. Three patients with endometrioid histology, two with undifferentiated tumours, three with mucinous adenocarcinoma and one with clear cell carcinoma had elevated inhibin levels. Functional inhibin is secreted by all granulosa cell tumours of the ovary studied and can be used as a tumour marker to determine response to therapy and predict recurrence and is superior to oestradiol. A more detailed analysis of the levels of inhibin, and its subunits in epithelial ovarian cancer is needed to identify the molecular forms of the immunoreactive material before optimised assays can be applied to this more common tumour.
PMCID: PMC2033765  PMID: 7734297
23.  Case report of a large lactating adenoma with rapid antepartum enlargement 
•We report a giant 10 cm lactating adenoma with rapid antepartum enlargement.•The lactating adenoma doubled in size within six weeks during the third trimester.•The giant lactating adenoma was excised at 31-week gestation without complications.•Excision of giant, enlarging lactating adenoma in the third trimester is feasible.
Lactating adenomas are rare benign breast tumors, most commonly found during pregnancy and lactation. They are usually slow growing and smaller than 3 cm in maximal diameter. Rare cases of giant lactating adenomas and rapid postpartum enlargement have been reported, but none have shown a giant lactating adenoma with rapid antepartum enlargement or antepartum surgical management.
Case presentation
A 27 year-old pregnant woman presented at 28 weeks gestation with a 5 cm left breast mass that doubled to 10 cm within six weeks and was increasingly tender. Histopathologic examination of a core biopsy was consistent with a lactating adenoma. The mass was excised at 31 weeks gestation with no complications.
Lactating adenomas are common during pregnancy and need to be distinguished from breast cancer, a commonly diagnosed malignancy in pregnancy. They can be distinguished from carcinoma and other benign tumors like fibroadenoma under histopathologic examination. Rare cases of giant lactating adenomas with rapid postpartum enlargement that were managed by postpartum excision have been reported. However, a giant lactating adenoma with rapid antepartum enlargement, managed by excision in the third trimester of pregnancy, has not been reported.
Excision of a large, rapidly enlarging lactating adenoma in the third trimester of pregnancy is a safe and feasible management option.
PMCID: PMC4818311  PMID: 26855073
Lactating adenoma; Pregnancy; Breast mass
24.  Partial lipodystrophy with severe insulin resistance and adult progeria Werner syndrome 
Laminopathies, due to mutations in LMNA, encoding A type-lamins, can lead to premature ageing and/or lipodystrophic syndromes, showing that these diseases could have close physiopathological relationships. We show here that lipodystrophy and extreme insulin resistance can also reveal the adult progeria Werner syndrome linked to mutations in WRN, encoding a RecQ DNA helicase.
We analysed the clinical and biological features of two women, aged 32 and 36, referred for partial lipodystrophic syndrome which led to the molecular diagnosis of Werner syndrome. Cultured skin fibroblasts from one patient were studied.
Two normal-weighted women presented with a partial lipodystrophic syndrome with hypertriglyceridemia and liver steatosis. One of them had also diabetes. Both patients showed a peculiar, striking lipodystrophic phenotype with subcutaneous lipoatrophy of the four limbs contrasting with truncal and abdominal fat accumulation. Their oral glucose tolerance tests showed extremely high levels of insulinemia, revealing major insulin resistance. Low serum levels of sex-hormone binding globulin and adiponectin suggested a post-receptor insulin signalling defect. Other clinical features included bilateral cataracts, greying hair and distal skin atrophy. We observed biallelic WRN null mutations in both women (p.Q748X homozygous, and compound heterozygous p.Q1257X/p.M1329fs). Their fertility was decreased, with preserved menstrual cycles and normal follicle-stimulating hormone levels ruling out premature ovarian failure. However undetectable anti-müllerian hormone and inhibin B indicated diminished follicular ovarian reserve. Insulin-resistance linked ovarian hyperandrogenism could also contribute to decreased fertility, and the two patients became pregnant after initiation of insulin-sensitizers (metformin). Both pregnancies were complicated by severe cervical incompetence, leading to the preterm birth of a healthy newborn in one case, but to a second trimester-abortion in the other. WRN-mutated fibroblasts showed oxidative stress, increased lamin B1 expression, nuclear dysmorphies and premature senescence.
We show here for the first time that partial lipodystrophy with severe insulin resistance can reveal WRN-linked premature aging syndrome. Increased expression of lamin B1 with altered lamina architecture observed in WRN-mutated fibroblasts could contribute to premature cellular senescence. Primary alterations in DNA replication and/or repair should be considered as possible causes of lipodystrophic syndromes.
PMCID: PMC3720184  PMID: 23849162
Lipodystrophy; Insulin resistance; WRN gene; Premature aging; Progeria; Pregnancy; Decreased ovarian reserve; Cervical insufficiency; Prelamin A; Lamin B1
25.  Postoperative change of anti-Thomsen-Friedenreich and Tn IgG level: The follow-up study of gastrointestinal cancer patients 
AIM: To study the influence of tumor removal on the serum level of IgG antibodies to tumor-associated Thomsen-Friedenreich (TF), Tn carbohydrate epitopes and xenogeneic αGal, and to elucidate on the change of the level during the follow-up as well as its association with the stage and morphology of the tumor and the values of blood parameters in gastrointestinal cancer.
METHODS: Sixty patients with gastric cancer and 34 patients with colorectal cancer in stages I-IV without distant metastases were subjected to follow-up. The level of antibodies in serum was determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using synthetic polyacrylamide (PAA) glycoconjugates. Biochemical and haematological analyses were performed using automated equipment.
RESULTS: In gastrointestinal cancer, the TF antibody level was found to have elevated significantly after the removal of G3 tumors as compared with the preoperative level (u = 278.5, P < 0.05). After surgery, the TF and Tn antibody level was elevated in the majority of gastric cancer patients (sign test, 20 vs 8, P < 0.05, and 21 vs 8, P < 0.05, respectively). In gastrointestinal cancer, the elevated postoperative level of TF, Tn and αGal antibodies was noted in most patients with G3 tumors (sign test, 22 vs 5, P < 0.01; 19 vs 6, P < 0.05; 24 vs 8, P < 0.01, respectively), but the elevation was not significant in patients with G1 + G2 resected tumors. The postoperative follow-up showed that the percentage of patients with G3 resected tumors of the digestive tract, who had a mean level of anti-TF IgG above the cut-off value (1.53), was significantly higher than that of patients with G1 + G2 resected tumors (χ2 = 3.89, all patients; χ2 = 5.34, patients without regional lymph node metastases; P < 0.05). The percentage of patients with a tumor in stage I, whose mean anti-TF IgG level remained above the cut-off value (1.26), was significantly higher than that of patients with the cancer in stages III-IV (χ2 = 4.71, gastric cancer; χ2 = 4.11, gastrointestinal cancer; P < 0.05). The correlation was observed to exist between the level of anti-TF IgG and the count of lymphocytes (r = 0.517, P < 0.01), as well as between the level of anti-Tn IgG and that of serum CA 19-9 (r = 0.481, P < 0.05). No positive delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction in skin test challenges with TF-PAA in any of the fifteen patients, including those with a high level of anti-TF IgG, was observed.
CONCLUSION: The surgical operation raises the level of anti-carbohydrate IgG in most patients, especially in those with the G3 tumor of the gastrointestinal tract. The follow-up demonstrates that after surgery the low preoperative level of TF antibodies may be considerably increased in patients with the carcinoma in its early stage but remains low in its terminal stages. The stage- and morphology-dependent immunosuppression affects the TF-antibody response and may be one of the reasons for unresponsiveness to the immunization with TF-antigens.
PMCID: PMC2731188  PMID: 18666325
IgG antibodies; Thomsen-Friedenreich; Tn; αGal; Gastrointestinal cancer; Immunosuppression; CA 19-9

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