Measuring PC activity in endocervical swab may provide a simple and non-invasive method to detect endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women
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Sophea Heng1,2,3, Andrew N. Stephens2,4,6, Tom W. Jobling5,6, Guiying Nie1,2,3
1Implantation and Placental Development Laboratory, Centre for Reproductive Health, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
2Department of Molecular and Translational Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
4Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
6Epworth Research Institute, Epworth HealthCare, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Guiying Nie, email: [email protected]
Keywords: endocervical swab, uterine lavage, PC activity, endometrial cancer, assay
Received: February 22, 2016 Accepted: May 20, 2016 Published: June 25, 2016
Endometrial cancer is one of the most common gynecological malignancies in post-menopausal women. If detected at early stages, endometrial cancer can be effectively treated by abdominal hysterectomy. However, to date, there is no biochemical test available for early and easy detection of endometrial cancer. Our previous study has established that the total proprotein convertase (PC) activity is significantly increased in the uterine lavage of post-menopausal women with endometrial cancer. Uterine lavage can be obtained relatively non-invasively compared to uterine tissues, however, blood contamination and other factors limit the wide clinical use of uterine lavage. The aim of this study was to determine whether endocervical swab is a viable alternative to uterine lavage for the detection of endometrial cancer. We determined the correlation in PC activity between paired endocervical swabs and uterine lavages from individual post-menopausal women (control as well as endometrial cancer patients), and also compared the total PC activity in endocervical swabs between control and endometrial cancer patients. Our data demonstrated that the total PC activity in swab and lavage was highly correlative in post-menopausal women, and that the PC activity in endocervical swab was significantly increased in endometrial cancer patients compared to controls. These results strongly suggest that determining PC activity in endocervical swabs may provide a simple, non-invasive and novel method to detect endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women.
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