Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Department of Radiation Sciences, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

2 Department of Experimental and Clinical Surgery, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

3 Department of Cancer Management and Research, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt


Background: Traditional tumor markers such as cancer antigen 15.3 (CA15.3) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) exhibit limited clinical utility in breast cancer due to their lack of sensitivity and specificity, particularly for detecting low-volume tumors. Other serum markers, such as nestin, may offer more promise. This study aimed to assess the clinical significance of serum nestin and CA15.3 in breast cancer patients.
Method: This case-control study enrolled 80 normal control females and 80 females with breast cancer. Serum samples were collected from both control and breast cancer groups. The serum nestin and CA15.3 levels were measured in all samples using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits.
Results: The serum levels of nestin and CA15.3 were found to be significantly elevated in the breast cancer patient group compared with the control group. Preoperative serum nestin levels exceeding 9.9 ng/ml demonstrated a substantial odds ratio of 27 (confidence interval: 4.57-159.67; P = 0.0003). In receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, serum nestin exhibited the highest significant area under the curve at 85.2% (P < 0.001), followed by serum CA15.3 at 70% (P = 0.021). Post-surgery serum nestin levels significantly decreased compared with pre-surgery levels (P = 0.045).
Conclusion: Serum nestin outperforms serum CA15.3 in diagnosing breast cancer patients. Elevated serum nestin levels may represent a significant risk factor for the development of breast cancer. Furthermore, serum nestin can monitor the effects of surgery, whereas none of the assessed biomarkers exhibit a significant role in monitoring the effects of chemotherapy on breast cancer patients.


Taha I. Hewala (Google Scholar)


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How to cite this article:

Hewala TI, Kamel MS, Elwany YN, Zekry NA. The value of serum nestin in monitoring the effects of surgery and chemotherapy in female breast cancer patients: a comparison with serum CA15.3. Middle East J Cancer. 2024;15(2):136- 44. doi:10.30476/mejc.2023. 98136.1886.

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