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TUMOR MARKERS

 

Most Commonly Used Tumor Markers 

Tumor Markers
Cancers
What Else?
When/How Used
Usual sample
AFP(Alpha-feto protein)
Liver, germ cell cancer of ovaries or testes
Also elevated during pregnancy
Help diagnose, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood
B2M (Beta-2 microglobulin
Multiple myeloma and lymphomas
Present in many other conditions, including Crohn’s disease and hepatitis; often used to determine cause of renal failure
Determine prognosis
Blood
CA 15-3 (Cancer antigen 15-3)
Breast Cancer and others, including lung, ovarian
Also elevated in benign breast conditions; doctor can use CA 15-3 or CA 27.29 (two different assays for same marker)
Stage disease, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood
CA 19-9 (Cancer antigen 19-9)
Pancreatic, sometimes colorectal, bile ducts, and some types of ovarian cancer
Also elevated in pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease
Stage disease, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood
CA 125 (Cancer antigen 125)
Ovarian
Also elevated with endometriosis some other benign diseases and conditions; not recommended as a general screen
Help diagnose, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood
Calcitonin
Thyroid medullary carcinoma
Also elevated in pernicious anemia and thyroiditis
Help diagnose, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood
CEA (Carcino-embryonic antigen)
Colorectal, lung, breast, thyroid, pancreatic, liver, cervix, and bladder
Elevated in other conditions such as hepatitis, COPD, colitis, pancreatitis, and in cigarette smokers
Monitor treatment and determine recurrence
Blood
Chromogranin A (CgA)
Neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoid tumors, neuroblastoma)
May be most sensitive tumor marker for carcinoid tumors
To help diagnose and monitor
Blood
Estrogen receptors
Breast
Increased in hormone-dependent cancer
Determine prognosis and guide treatment
Tissue
hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin)
Testicular and trophoblastic disease
Elevated in pregnancy, testicular failure
Help diagnose, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood, urine
 
Her-2/neu
Breast
Oncogene that is present in multiple copies in 20-30% of invasive breast cancer
Determine prognosis and guide treatment
Tissue
Monoclonal immunoglobulins
Multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia
Overproduction of an immunoglobulin or antibody usually detected by protein electrophoresis
Help diagnose, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood, urine
Progesterone receptors
Breast
Increased in hormone-dependent cancer
Determine prognosis and guide treatment
Tissue
PSA (Prostate specific antigen), total and free
Prostate
Elevated in benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and with age
Screen for and help diagnose, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence
Blood
Thyroglobulin
Thyroid
Used after thyroid is removed to evaluate treatment
Determine recurrence
Blood

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Other Tumor Markers Less Widely Used
 

BTA (Bladder tumor antigen)
Bladder
Not widely available, but gaining acceptance
Help diagnose and determine recurrence
Urine
CA 72-4 (Cancer antigen 72-4)
Ovarian
No evidence that it is better than CA 125 but may be useful when combined with it; still being studied
Help diagnose
Bold
Des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP)
Hepatocellular carconoma (HCC)
New test; often used along with an imaging study plus AFP and/or AFP-L3% to evaluate if someone with chronic liver disease has developed HCC
To evaluate risk of developing HCC; to evaluate treatment; to monitor for recurrence
Blood
EGFR (Her-1)
Solid tumors, such as of the lung (non small cell) head and neck, colon, pancreas, or breast
Not available in every laboratory
Guide treatment and determine prognosis
Tissue
NSE (Neuron-specific enolase)
Neuroblastoma, small cell lung cancer
May be better than CEA for following this particular kind of lung cancer
Monitor treatment
Blood
NMP22
Bladder
Not widely used
Help diagnose and determine recurrence
Urine
PSMA (Prostate-specific membrane antigen
Prostate
Not widely used anymore; levels increase normally with age
Help diagnose
Blood
PAP (Prostatic acid phosphatase)
Metastatic prostate cancer, myeloma, lung cancer
Not widely used anymore; elevated in prostatitis and other conditions
Help diagnose
Blood
S-100
Metastatic melanoma
Not widely used
Help diagnsoe
Blood
SMRP (Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides)
Mesothelioma
Often used in conjunction with imaging tests
To monitor progression or recurrence
Blood
TA-90
Metastatic melanoma
Not widely used, being studied
Help diagnose
Blood

© 2001 - 2009 by American Association for Clinical Chemistry
 

 





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