A variety of cytokines have been identified to play a role in ovarian cancer. In this pilot study, we sought to determine whether transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) was detectable in the serum and ascites of women with advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer. TGF-α was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and was present in 18 of 25 control sera. Prior to treatment for stage III or IV epithelial ovarian cancer, 18 patients had undetectable serum levels of TGF-α, while 18 had values ranging from 10.6 to 531.7 pg/ml. The group with undetectable levels had a 6-month greater median survival; detectable TGF-α might be a negative prognostic indicator. In a separate group undergoing second-look laparotomy, differences in median TGF-α values versus controls and the primary study group approached significance. TGF-α was detected in significantly more control peritoneal fluid samples than in patient ascites. A larger study is warranted.
- Ovarian cancer
- Transforming growth factor-α