Urine CA125 and HE4 for the Triage of Symptomatic Women with Suspected Endometrial Cancer

Kelechi Njoku, Chloe Barr, Caroline J J Sutton, Emma Crosbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simple, noninvasive and accurate detection tool that can triage women with suspected endometrial cancer for definitive testing will transform patient care. The aim of this study was to evaluate urine CA125 and HE4 levels for the detection of endometrial cancer in symptomatic women. This was a cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study of 153 symptomatic women who underwent urgent diagnostic investigations for suspected endometrial cancer at a large gynecological cancer center. Urine samples were collected prior to routine clinical procedures. Urine CA125 and HE4 levels were determined using automated chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassays. Univariate and multivariable receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were performed. Urine CA125 and HE4 were discovered to be significantly elevated in women with endometrial cancer, compared to controls ( p < 0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively). Urine CA125 and HE4 detected endometrial cancer with an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.89 (0.81, 0.98) and 0.69 (0.55, 0.83), respectively. CA125 exhibited good discriminatory potential for Type I and early-stage tumors (AUC 0.93 and 0.90, respectively). A diagnostic model that combined urine CA125 and transvaginal ultrasound-measured endometrial thickness predicted endometrial cancer with an AUC of 0.96 (0.91, 1.00). Urine CA125 displays potential as a diagnostic tool for symptomatic women with suspected endometrial cancer. When combined with transvaginal ultrasound-measured endometrial thickness, this patient-friendly, urine-based test could help triage women for invasive diagnostics or safe reassurance, reducing costs and improving patient experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3306
Issue number14
Early online date6 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022


  • biomarkers
  • CA125
  • diagnosis
  • endometrial cancer
  • HE4
  • noninvasive
  • urine

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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