Platelet RNA enables accurate detection of ovarian cancer: an intercontinental, biomarker identification study

Yue Gao, Chun-Jie Liu, Hua-Yi Li, Xiao-Ming Xiong, Gui-Ling Li, Sjors G. J. G. in 't Veld, Guang-Yao Cai, Gui-Yan Xie, Shao-Qing Zeng, Yuan Wu, Jian-Hua Chi, Jia-Hao Liu, Qiong Zhang, Xiao-Fei Jiao, Lin-Li Shi, Wan-Rong Lu, Wei-Guo Lv, Xing-Sheng Yang, Jurgen M. J. Piek, Cornelis D. de KroonC. A. R. Lok, Anna Supernat, Sylwia Łapińska-Szumczyk, Anna Łojkowska, Anna J. Żaczek, Jacek Jassem, Bakhos A. Tannous, Nik Sol, Edward Post, Myron G. Best, Bei-Hua Kong, Xing Xie, Ding Ma, Thomas Wurdinger, An-Yuan Guo, Qing-Lei Gao

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Platelets are reprogrammed by cancer via a process called education, which favors cancer development. The transcriptional profile of tumor-educated platelets (TEPs) is skewed and therefore practicable for cancer detection. This intercontinental, hospital-based, diagnostic study included 761 treatment-naïve inpatients with histologically confirmed adnexal masses and 167 healthy controls from nine medical centers (China, n = 3; Netherlands, n = 5; Poland, n = 1) between September 2016 and May 2019. The main outcomes were the performance of TEPs and their combination with CA125 in two Chinese (VC1 and VC2) and the European (VC3) validation cohorts collectively and independently. Exploratory outcome was the value of TEPs in public pan-cancer platelet transcriptome datasets. The AUCs for TEPs in the combined validation cohort, VC1, VC2, and VC3 were 0.918 (95% CI 0.889-0.948), 0.923 (0.855-0.990), 0.918 (0.872-0.963), and 0.887 (0.813-0.960), respectively. Combination of TEPs and CA125 demonstrated an AUC of 0.922 (0.889-0.955) in the combined validation cohort; 0.955 (0.912-0.997) in VC1; 0.939 (0.901-0.977) in VC2; 0.917 (0.824-1.000) in VC3. For subgroup analysis, TEPs exhibited an AUC of 0.858, 0.859, and 0.920 to detect early-stage, borderline, non-epithelial diseases and 0.899 to discriminate ovarian cancer from endometriosis. TEPs had robustness, compatibility, and universality for preoperative diagnosis of ovarian cancer since it withstood validations in populations of different ethnicities, heterogeneous histological subtypes, and early-stage ovarian cancer. However, these observations warrant prospective validations in a larger population before clinical utilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-447
Number of pages15
JournalProtein and Cell
Issue number6
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2023


  • liquid biopsy
  • ovarian cancer
  • preoperative diagnosis
  • tumor-educated platelets

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