What do we know about this important new test?

What do we know about the HE4 Blood test as an additional monitoring tool for picking up recurrence as well as the standard CA125  test which is not a good indicator for some types of OC tumours? It would be interesting to get others feedback on this as it is used widely in USA for past 2 years as it works in a different way to CA125. My understanding is the HE4 picks up a protein that is only secreted when Ovarian Cancer cells are present whereas the CA125  just simply picks up on any inflammation  present   which may possibly be from other causes than Ovarian cancer tumours . That is the basic problem with an inflated CA125 figure, it can be caused by issues other than Ovarian cancer type inflammation.

Therefore it would seem to me that the HE4 is a good test to do ( its a simple blood test and we have enough of those already!)  as  anything that helps to pickup on an early recurrence is essential as an extra diagnostic tool. it would surely help the oncologists  and ultimately us!

5 Replies

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  • Hi Lindy,

    I mentioned this test to my Oncologist here in Spain last year when I first heard about it - he made nothing of it !! Now whether that is because the Spanish healthcare system doesn't do these tests, or because of cost cutting I have no idea.

    He is a research scientist at the University in Malaga and is leading drugs trials with the use of Avastin here in Spain, so I would have thought this new test would have been of interest to him. He is also very involved with Ovarian cancer in the States and attends a lot of the conferences out there, so he will know about it !!

    I had actually forgotten about it, but thanks for bringing it to our attention , I will ask him about it again next time I see him.

    Ann x

  • Thanks for your reply Anna, your posts are always interesting and informative and be good to hear what your Onc thinks next time you see him. I would be concerned to think it was a cost issue stopping Onc sending us for this extra test that may help us but i have to be a realist as well.

    Ill be interested to hear what others think

    sending you very good wishes in Spain and hope your enjoying that sunshine!

    Lindy

  • Hi Lindy,

    I have heard that in the UK some areas are stopping doing CA125's because of the cost, I think that is terrible.

    I also read the most awful report in the Sunday TImes yesterday, which was predicting that some cancer treatments in the UK now are becoming so expensive they will only be attainable by only the wealthy as the NHS can't afford them. £'s before lives again, it angers me so much !!

    Going to the UK on Thurs for 8 days, weather warming up but then getting colder, I feel the cold so much now after living here for 8 & 1/2 years !!

    Anna xx

  • Hi Lindy,

    I asked at the women's genetic clinic and they just said they did not use it, but would need to look it up (they deal with all kinds of cancers).

    I will ask my oncologist about it when I next see him.

    Kind regards,

    Liz

  • Hi Lindy,

    Just to follow up - I asked my oncologist and he said markers come and markers go. He said sometimes things like this can be useful if the CA125 is not a good indicator for you. He wasn't very informative or excited about it really, perhaps because he is a general oncologist...

    Love Lizzie

    X

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