Circulating soluble Fas levels and risk of ovarian cancer
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BACKGROUND: Dysregulation of apoptosis, specifically overexpression of soluble Fas (sFas), has been proposed to play a role in the development of ovarian cancer. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate serum sFas as a potential biomarker of ovarian cancer risk. METHODS: The association between serum sFas levels and the risk of ovarian cancer was examined in a case-control study nested within three prospective cohorts in New York (USA), Umeå (Sweden), and Milan (Italy). Case subjects were 138 women with primary invasive epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed between 2 months and 13.2 years after the initial blood donation. Control subjects were 263 women who were free of cancer, and matched the case on cohort, menopausal status, age, and enrollment date. Serum sFas levels were determined using a quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: Serum sFas levels were similar in women subsequently diagnosed with ovarian cancer (median, 6.5 ng/mL; range, 4.4-10.2) and in controls (median, 6.8 ng/mL; range, 4.5-10.1). Statistically significant trends of increasing serum sFas with age were observed among cases (r = 0.39, p < 0.0001) and controls (r = 0.42, p < 0.0001). Compared to women in the lowest third, women in the highest third of serum sFas were not at increased risk of ovarian cancer after adjustment for potential confounders (odd ratio (OR), 0.87; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.42-1.82). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that serum sFas may not be a suitable marker for identification of women at increased risk of ovarian cancer.
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