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Serum Tumor Markers

Serum tumor Tumor Inflammation markers are proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis or carbohydrates Carbohydrates A class of organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in a ratio of cn(H2O)n. The largest class of organic compounds, including starch; glycogen; cellulose; polysaccharides; and simple monosaccharides. Basics of Carbohydrates produced by cancer cells that are associated with a malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax of a specific origin (e.g., thyroglobulin Thyroglobulin Thyroid Hormones in thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy cancer). Genetic changes in a malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax, such as gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics mutations or patterns of gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics expression, are also being used as tumor Tumor Inflammation markers, and are often referred to as “cellular tumor Tumor Inflammation markers.” These lab tests are easy to obtain and useful for follow-up in a patient with known malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax. In general, they are not appropriate for screening Screening Preoperative Care in individuals of average risk, except for prostate-specific antigen Prostate-specific antigen A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer ( PSA PSA A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer), which is commonly used but controversial. Tumor Tumor Inflammation markers have an important role in the diagnosis, prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas, and monitoring of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with cancer. However, they are not as specific or sensitive as tissue biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma and are not used solely for cancer diagnosis. Panels of tumor Tumor Inflammation markers have been increasingly adopted in recent years.

Last updated: 29 Nov, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

  • Serum tumor Tumor Inflammation markers, usually just referred to as “ tumor Tumor Inflammation markers,” are proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis or carbohydrates Carbohydrates A class of organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in a ratio of cn(H2O)n. The largest class of organic compounds, including starch; glycogen; cellulose; polysaccharides; and simple monosaccharides. Basics of Carbohydrates that increase due to cancer.
  • Cellular tumor Tumor Inflammation markers are also used to detect the presence of malignant cells with distinctive genetic changes.
  • Both can usually be measured in circulating cells of different body fluids and in tissues. 

Uses and limitations Limitations Conflict of Interest

Uses:

Baseline level should be established at the time of initial presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor.

  • Evaluating tumor Tumor Inflammation response to therapy (e.g., chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma, radiotherapy, or surgery)
  • Monitoring for tumor Tumor Inflammation recurrence (e.g., carcinoembryonic antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination (CEA) with colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy cancer)
  • Determining stage, prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas, and treatment plan for certain malignancies (e.g., hCG pretreatment level included in the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)  staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis system for choriocarcinoma Choriocarcinoma A malignant metastatic form of trophoblastic tumors. Unlike the hydatidiform mole, choriocarcinoma contains no chorionic villi but rather sheets of undifferentiated cytotrophoblasts and syncytiotrophoblasts (trophoblasts). It is characterized by the large amounts of chorionic gonadotropin produced. Tissue origins can be determined by DNA analyses: placental (fetal) origin or non-placental origin. Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)
  • Screening Screening Preoperative Care for cancer (e.g., prostate-specific antigen Prostate-specific antigen A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer ( PSA PSA A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer) testing for prostate cancer Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. In the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately 11%, and the lifetime risk of death is 2.5%. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that takes years, or even decades, to develop into advanced disease. Prostate Cancer)

Limitations Limitations Conflict of Interest:

Classification

  • Cellular tumor Tumor Inflammation markers
    • Indicate expression of oncogenes Oncogenes Genes whose gain-of-function alterations lead to neoplastic cell transformation. They include, for example, genes for activators or stimulators of cell proliferation such as growth factors, growth factor receptors, protein kinases, signal transducers, nuclear phosphoproteins, and transcription factors. A prefix of ‘v-‘ before oncogene symbols indicates oncogenes captured and transmitted by retroviruses; the prefix ‘c-‘ before the gene symbol of an oncogene indicates it is the cellular homolog (proto-oncogenes) of a v-oncogene. Carcinogenesis
    • Example: carbohydrate antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination 125 (CA-125) in ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the ovarian tissue and is classified according to the type of tissue from which it originates. The 3 major types of ovarian cancer are epithelial ovarian carcinomas (EOCs), ovarian germ cell tumors (OGCTs), and sex cord-stromal tumors (SCSTs). Ovarian Cancer
  • Humoral tumor Tumor Inflammation markers
    • Detected in bodily fluids such as blood or urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat in concentrations higher than physiological values
    • Produced by tumorous cells at a higher level than normal 
    • Example: Prolactinoma Prolactinoma A pituitary adenoma which secretes prolactin, leading to hyperprolactinemia. Clinical manifestations include amenorrhea; galactorrhea; impotence; headache; visual disturbances; and cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. Hyperprolactinemia causes an elevation in the normal secretion Secretion Coagulation Studies of prolactin Prolactin A lactogenic hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis. It is a polypeptide of approximately 23 kd. Besides its major action on lactation, in some species prolactin exerts effects on reproduction, maternal behavior, fat metabolism, immunomodulation and osmoregulation. Breasts: Anatomy.

Clinical Significance

Levels of tumor Tumor Inflammation markers can be useful in monitoring response to treatment for many cancers but have drawbacks and false positives.

Common tumor Tumor Inflammation markers

  • CEA
    • Obtained preoperatively and postoperatively in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy cancer
    • Used in treatment planning and assessment of prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas
    • Not used for screening Screening Preoperative Care:
    • False positives with:
      • Benign Benign Fibroadenoma GI conditions such as gastritis Gastritis Gastritis refers to inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Gastritis may occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or slowly over time (chronic gastritis). Gastritis may be asymptomatic or with symptoms, including burning abdominal pain (which either worsens or improves with eating), dyspepsia, nausea, and vomiting. Gastritis, peptic ulcer Peptic ulcer Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) refers to the full-thickness ulcerations of duodenal or gastric mucosa. The ulcerations form when exposure to acid and digestive enzymes overcomes mucosal defense mechanisms. The most common etiologies include Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Peptic Ulcer Disease, diverticulitis Diverticulitis Inflammation of a diverticulum or diverticula. Diverticular Disease, liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease
      • Also can be elevated in smokers and patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Pulmonary disease Diseases involving the respiratory system. Blastomyces/Blastomycosis ( COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD))
  • Carbohydrate antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination 19-9 (CA19-9) 
    • A tetrasaccharide found in numerous malignancies
      • Most strongly associated with pancreatic cancer
      • Also associated with colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease that arises from genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, with influence from environmental factors. Colorectal Cancer and other forms of GI cancer
    • Used in posttreatment monitoring for recurrence in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with pancreatic cancer
    • False positives are common in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with:
      • Pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis
      • Cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis
  • CA-125 
    • A protein; also known as mucin 16
    • Function in cancer: participates in cell-to-cell interactions necessary for metastasis Metastasis The transfer of a neoplasm from one organ or part of the body to another remote from the primary site. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis
    • Used in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the ovarian tissue and is classified according to the type of tissue from which it originates. The 3 major types of ovarian cancer are epithelial ovarian carcinomas (EOCs), ovarian germ cell tumors (OGCTs), and sex cord-stromal tumors (SCSTs). Ovarian Cancer to follow response to chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma
    • Not commonly used for screening Screening Preoperative Care; can be elevated in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with
      • Endometrial cancer Endometrial Cancer Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the developed world, and it has several histologic types. Endometrioid carcinoma (known as type 1 EC) typically develops from atypical endometrial hyperplasia, is hormonally responsive, and carries a favorable prognosis. Endometrial Hyperplasia and Endometrial Cancer
      • Lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung Cancer
      • Breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
      • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
  • CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 15-3
    • Used in monitoring treatment response in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with metastatic breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
    • Has drawbacks; can see a transient increase in 20% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship successfully treated with systemic therapy
    • False positives can also be seen in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with:
      • Vitamin B12 deficiency and megaloblastic anemia Megaloblastic anemia Megaloblastic anemia is a subset of macrocytic anemias that arises because of impaired nucleic acid synthesis in erythroid precursors. This impairment leads to ineffective RBC production and intramedullary hemolysis that is characterized by large cells with arrested nuclear maturation. The most common causes are vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies. Megaloblastic Anemia
      • Thalassemia Thalassemia Thalassemia is a hereditary cause of microcytic hypochromic anemia and results from a deficiency in either the α or β globin chains, resulting in hemoglobinopathy. The presentation of thalassemia depends on the number of defective chains present and can range from being asymptomatic to rendering the more severely affected patients to be transfusion dependent. Thalassemia or sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease
      • Benign Benign Fibroadenoma ovarian cysts Cysts Any fluid-filled closed cavity or sac that is lined by an epithelium. Cysts can be of normal, abnormal, non-neoplastic, or neoplastic tissues. Fibrocystic Change
  • PSA PSA A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer
    • A glycoprotein normally secreted by the prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. gland that functions to dissolve cervical mucus and allow for sperm motility Motility The motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Motility
    • Elevated with prostate cancer Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. In the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately 11%, and the lifetime risk of death is 2.5%. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that takes years, or even decades, to develop into advanced disease. Prostate Cancer 
      • Used for prostate cancer Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. In the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately 11%, and the lifetime risk of death is 2.5%. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that takes years, or even decades, to develop into advanced disease. Prostate Cancer risk stratification
      • Posttreatment monitoring
      • Screening Screening Preoperative Care for prostate cancer Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. In the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately 11%, and the lifetime risk of death is 2.5%. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that takes years, or even decades, to develop into advanced disease. Prostate Cancer (controversial)
    • False positives can be seen with:
      • Prostatitis Prostatitis Prostatitis is inflammation or an irritative condition of the prostate that presents as different syndromes: acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain, and asymptomatic. Bacterial prostatitis is easier to identify clinically and the management (antibiotics) is better established. Prostatitis
      • Benign Benign Fibroadenoma prostatic hyperplasia Hyperplasia An increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation. It differs from hypertrophy, which is an increase in bulk without an increase in the number of cells. Cellular Adaptation
  • Thyroglobulin Thyroglobulin Thyroid Hormones
    • A glycoprotein secreted by follicular thyroid gland Thyroid gland The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy cells
    • Normally serves as a substrate Substrate A substance upon which the enzyme acts. Basics of Enzymes for the production of thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy hormones Hormones Hormones are messenger molecules that are synthesized in one part of the body and move through the bloodstream to exert specific regulatory effects on another part of the body. Hormones play critical roles in coordinating cellular activities throughout the body in response to the constant changes in both the internal and external environments. Hormones: Overview and Types
    • Used as a tumor Tumor Inflammation marker postoperatively for monitoring of recurrence of papillary or follicular thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy cancer
  • Chromogranin A Chromogranin A A type of chromogranin which was first isolated from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla but is also found in other tissues and in many species including human, bovine, rat, mouse, and others. It is an acidic protein with 431 to 445 amino acid residues. It contains fragments that inhibit vasoconstriction or release of hormones and neurotransmitter, while other fragments exert antimicrobial actions. Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PanNETs) (CgA) 
    • A glycoprotein secreted by neuroendocrine cells
    • Used in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with both functional and nonfunctional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors Neuroendocrine tumors Tumors whose cells possess secretory granules and originate from the neuroectoderm, i.e., the cells of the ectoblast or epiblast that program the neuroendocrine system. Common properties across most neuroendocrine tumors include ectopic hormone production (often via apud cells), the presence of tumor-associated antigens, and isozyme composition. Gastrinoma ( PanNETs PanNETs Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) arise from the endocrine pancreas (islet cells) and represent 2%-5% of primary pancreatic neoplasms; the other 95%-98% of pancreatic neoplasms are from the exocrine pancreas. The majority of PanNETs are nonfunctional (50%-75%), while others that are functional may be benign or malignant. Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PanNETs)) and GI carcinoid tumors Carcinoid tumors Carcinoid tumors are small, well-differentiated, slow-growing neuroendocrine tumors (NET). Carcinoid syndrome describes the signs and symptoms associated with unregulated vasoactive hormone production by neuroendocrine tumors. Carcinoid tumors are most commonly found in the GI and bronchopulmonary tracts. Carcinoid Tumors and Syndrome
    • Less sensitive in colorectal and lung NETs
    • False positive False positive An FP test result indicates that a person has the disease when they do not. Epidemiological Values of Diagnostic Tests results can be seen with:
      • Proton-pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole Omeprazole A 4-methoxy-3, 5-dimethylpyridyl, 5-methoxybenzimidazole derivative of timoprazole that is used in the therapy of stomach ulcers and zollinger-ellison syndrome. The drug inhibits an h(+)-k(+)-exchanging ATPase which is found in gastric parietal cells. Gastric Acid Drugs)
      • Some foods
      • Chronic atrophic gastritis Atrophic gastritis Gastritis with atrophy of the gastric mucosa, the gastric parietal cells, and the mucosal glands leading to achlorhydria. Atrophic gastritis usually progresses from chronic gastritis. Gastritis
      • Chronic kidney disease Chronic Kidney Disease Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease
      • Inflammatory bowel disease
      • Cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis

Multiple tumor Tumor Inflammation marker testing

  • Tumor Tumor Inflammation marker elevation in isolation may represent a false positive False positive An FP test result indicates that a person has the disease when they do not. Epidemiological Values of Diagnostic Tests or false negative False negative An FN test result indicates a person does not have the disease when, in fact, they do. Epidemiological Values of Diagnostic Tests.
  • Multiple tumor Tumor Inflammation markers allow for better sensitivity Sensitivity Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Blotting Techniques and specificity Specificity Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. Immunoassays.
  • Tumor Tumor Inflammation marker panels and the development of parallel testing procedures are sometimes used in combination:
    • Breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer panel: CEA, CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 15-3, and CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 27.29
    • Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy cancer panel: CEA, CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 19-9, and CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 72-4
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy cancer panel: CEA and alpha-fetoprotein Alpha-fetoprotein The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during fetal development and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases ( AFP AFP The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during fetal development and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases)
  • Multiple markers for cancer of unknown primary site: CEA, CA19-9, CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 15-3, and CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 125 are not generally useful in diagnosis or management.

Comprehensive List of Tumor Markers

Table: Comprehensive list of tumor Tumor Inflammation markers
Abbreviation Tumor Tumor Inflammation marker name Associated malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
AFP AFP The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during fetal development and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases Alpha-fetoprotein Alpha-fetoprotein The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during fetal development and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases Hepatocellular cancer, metastatic disease in the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, germ cell tumor Tumor Inflammation
CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 15-3 Cancer antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination 15-3 Breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
CA CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts) 19-9 Carbohydrate antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination 19-9 Pancreatic cancer (also elevated in colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease that arises from genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, with influence from environmental factors. Colorectal Cancer, esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer is 1 of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Nearly all esophageal cancers are either adenocarcinoma (commonly affecting the distal esophagus) or squamous cell carcinoma (affecting the proximal two-thirds of the esophagus). Esophageal Cancer, and hepatocellular cancer)
CEA Carcinoembryonic antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease that arises from genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, with influence from environmental factors. Colorectal Cancer, pancreatic, gastric, and lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung Cancer
CA-125 Cancer antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination 125 Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the ovarian tissue and is classified according to the type of tissue from which it originates. The 3 major types of ovarian cancer are epithelial ovarian carcinomas (EOCs), ovarian germ cell tumors (OGCTs), and sex cord-stromal tumors (SCSTs). Ovarian Cancer
CgA Chromogranin A Chromogranin A A type of chromogranin which was first isolated from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla but is also found in other tissues and in many species including human, bovine, rat, mouse, and others. It is an acidic protein with 431 to 445 amino acid residues. It contains fragments that inhibit vasoconstriction or release of hormones and neurotransmitter, while other fragments exert antimicrobial actions. Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PanNETs) Neuroendocrine tumors Neuroendocrine tumors Tumors whose cells possess secretory granules and originate from the neuroectoderm, i.e., the cells of the ectoblast or epiblast that program the neuroendocrine system. Common properties across most neuroendocrine tumors include ectopic hormone production (often via apud cells), the presence of tumor-associated antigens, and isozyme composition. Gastrinoma in the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy; GI carcinoid tumors Carcinoid tumors Carcinoid tumors are small, well-differentiated, slow-growing neuroendocrine tumors (NET). Carcinoid syndrome describes the signs and symptoms associated with unregulated vasoactive hormone production by neuroendocrine tumors. Carcinoid tumors are most commonly found in the GI and bronchopulmonary tracts. Carcinoid Tumors and Syndrome
CT, CGRP-alpha Human calcitonin Calcitonin A peptide hormone that lowers calcium concentration in the blood. In humans, it is released by thyroid cells and acts to decrease the formation and absorptive activity of osteoclasts. Its role in regulating plasma calcium is much greater in children and in certain diseases than in normal adults. Other Antiresorptive Drugs Medullary thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy cancer
hCG Human chorionic gonadotropin Testicular cancer Testicular cancer Testicular cancer is the most common solid malignancy affecting men 15-35 years of age. Most of the testicular cancers are of the germ cell tumor type, and they can be classified as seminomas and nonseminomas. The most common presentation of testicular cancer is a painless testicular mass. Testicular Cancer, germ cell tumor Tumor Inflammation
PSA PSA A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostate-specific antigen Prostate-specific antigen A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. In the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately 11%, and the lifetime risk of death is 2.5%. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that takes years, or even decades, to develop into advanced disease. Prostate Cancer
TAG72 Tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 Gastric cancer Gastric cancer Gastric cancer is the 3rd-most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The majority of cases are from adenocarcinoma. The modifiable risk factors include Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking, and nitrate-rich diets. Gastric Cancer
Tg Tg Thyroid Hormones Thyroglobulin Thyroglobulin Thyroid Hormones Follicular or papillary thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy cancer

References

  1. Nagpal, M., et al.(2016). Tumor markers: A diagnostic tool. National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, 7(1), 17-20. Doi: 10.4103/0975-5950.196135
  2. Holdenrieder, S., et al. (2016). Clinically meaningful use of blood tumor markers in oncology. BioMed Research International. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9795269
  3. Strosberg, J.R. & Del Rivero, J.D. (2021). Overview of tumor biomarkers in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. UpToDate. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-tumor-biomarkers-in-gastroenteropancreatic-neuroendocrine-tumors
  4. Hainsworth, J.D. & Greco, A. (2019). Overview of the classification and management of cancers of unknown primary site. UpToDate. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-the-classification-and-management-of-cancers-of-unknown-primary-site
  5. Macrae, F. A., Parikh, A. R., Ricciardi, R. (2021). Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging of colorectal cancer. UpToDate. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-presentation-diagnosis-and-staging-of-colorectal-cancer
  6. Mayer, I.A. (2021). Systemic treatment for metastatic breast cancer: General principles. UpToDate. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/systemic-treatment-for-metastatic-breast-cancer-general-principles

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