A novel two‐lipid signature is a strong and independent prognostic factor in ovarian cancer

Liina Salminen, Elena Ioana Braicu, Mitja Lääperi, Antti Jylhä, Sinikka Oksa, Sakari Hietanen, Jalid Sehouli, Hagen Kulbe, Andreas du Bois, Sven Mahner, Philipp Harter, Olli Carpén, Kaisa Huhtinen, Johanna Hynninen, Mika Hilvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) generally responds well to oncological treatments, but the eventual development of a refractory disease is a major clinical problem. Presently, there are no prognostic blood‐based biomarkers for the stratification of EOC patients at the time of diagnosis. We set out to assess and validate the prognostic utility of a novel two‐lipid signature, as the lip-idome is known to be markedly aberrant in EOC patients. The study consisted of 499 women with histologically confirmed EOC that were prospectively recruited at the university hospitals in Turku (Finland) and Charité (Berlin, Germany). Lipidomic screening by tandem liquid chromatography– mass spectrometry (LC‐MS/MS) was performed for all baseline serum samples of these patients, and additionally for 20 patients of the Turku cohort at various timepoints. A two‐lipid signature, based on the ratio of the ceramide Cer(d18:1/18:0) and phosphatidylcholine PC(O‐38:4), showed consistent prognostic performance in all investigated study cohorts. In the Turku cohort, the unad-justed hazard ratios (HRs) per standard deviation (SD) (95% confidence interval) were 1.79 (1.40, 2.29) for overall and 1.40 (1.14, 1.71) for progression‐free survival. In a Charité cohort incorporating only stage III completely resected patients, the corresponding HRs were 1.59 (1.08, 2.35) and 1.53 (1.02, 2.30). In linear‐mixed models predicting progression of the disease, the two‐lipid signature showed higher performance (beta per SD increase 1.99 (1.38, 2.97)) than cancer antigen 125 (CA‐125, 1.78 (1.13, 2.87)). The two‐lipid signature was able to identify EOC patients with an especially poor prognosis at the time of diagnosis, and also showed promise for the detection of disease relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1764
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bi-omarker
  • Ceramide
  • Lipid
  • Lipidomics
  • Outcome
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Patient stratification
  • Personalized medicine
  • Phospholipid
  • Plasmalogen
  • Prognosis


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