Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Tumor Markers

    Not what you're looking for? Search our solutions OR ask your own Custom question.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    Define the term tumor markers and give a brief description of its clinical use and methods of detection
    Demonstrate, in a table/graph, 6 tumor markers by full name and abbreviation and the malignant neoplasm associated with it. some markers may be associated with more than one malignant condition, please include all that you find.
    Demonstrate brief descriptions of the specific method of detection for each of the 6 markers that have been selected.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:27 pm ad1c9bdddf

    SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!

    *I have also attached this response as a Word Document. The formatting of the table for section 2 (6 tumor markers) is preserved in the attached document.

    Definition of tumor markers:
    Tumor markers are substances, usually proteins, that are made by cells in the body. Tumor markers are often produced by cells in response to cancerous conditions. They are often made by normal cells as well as by cancer cells, but when a person has cancer they are produced at a much higher level than normal (National Cancer Institute, 2011).

    Clinical use and methods of detection:
    Depending on the specific tumor marker, it may be detected in the various body fluids such as the blood or urine. Other tumor markers may be detected by sampling the tumor tissue or other tissues of patients with cancer. Tumor markers detected by taking a sample of body fluid or tumor tissue and then running tests on it in the laboratory to determine if the tumor marker is present. If it is present, laboratory testing is used to measure the level of the tumor marker (National Cancer Institute, 2011).

    Tumor markers can help not only with the detection of cancer, but also with diagnosis and management of certain types of cancer. Tumor markers cannot be used to diagnose cancer on their own, but they can be useful in combination with other tests (e.g. biopsies). The level of elevation of the tumor marker may help indicate the extent or stage of the cancer and/or the prognosis. If the level of a tumor marker is elevated prior to treatment, the level can be followed during treatment to help determine whether the cancer is responding to therapy. For patients whose cancer has gone into remission, periodic testing for tumor markers may be done to check to see if the cancer has returned (National Cancer Institute, 2011).

    Six tumor markers (National Cancer Institute, 2011):

    Name Abbreviation Malignant Neoplasm(s)
    Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) Liver cancer, germ cell tumors
    Uses: Diagnosis, determining the stage and prognosis, following response to treatment

    Cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) Pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, bile duct cancer, gastric cancer
    Uses: To help assess whether or not the treatment is working

    Cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) Ovarian cancer
    Uses: Diagnosis, assessing response to treatment, evaluating for recurrence

    Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) Colorectal cancer, breast cancer
    Uses: Check for spread of colorectal cancer, evaluate for recurrence of breast cancer, assess for response to treatment for breast cancer

    Estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) Breast cancer
    Uses: To help determine what type of treatment would be the most appropriate

    Prostate specific antigen (PSA) Prostate cancer
    Uses: Diagnosis, assessing response to treatment, evaluating for recurrence

    Methods of detection for the six markers:

    AFP: AFP is a glycoprotein that is produced by the liver and by certain tumor types. It is released into the blood, where it can then be measured through blood sampling. In non-pregnant adults AFP levels would be expected to be very low under normal conditions. Elevated AFP levels may be found in the presence of certain cancers. An AFP level that is over 6.0 ng/mL is considered abnormal (Mayo Medical Laboratories, n.d.).

    CA 19-9: The test for CA 19-9 measures the proteins that are shed by pancreatic, and certain other, cancer cells. This is a blood test that measures the level of CA 19-9 that is present. The amount of antigen present is determined by using a monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to CA 19-9 antigen. The amount of bound antigen can then be quantified (Fujirebio Diagnostics, 2013). A CA 19-9 level that is over 37 U/mL is considered abnormal (Thaker, 2012).

    CA-125: CA-125 is a protein that is found on the surface of ovarian cancer cells. This protein is released into the blood stream (Johns Hopkins, 2003). A test for CA-125 is done by measuring the amount of CA-125 in a blood sample. A CA-125 level that is over 35 U/mL is considered abnormal (Mayo Clinic, 2011).

    CEA: While CEA is usually detected through blood sampling, it can also be tested in other body fluids and in biopsy tissue. A CEA level of >2.5 ng/mL is considered abnormal in non-smokers, while a CEA level of >5.0 ng/mL is considered abnormal in smokers (MedicineNet, 2002).

    ER/PR: Tumor tissue, from a biopsy or from removal of all of the tumor or breast tissue, is used to detect the presence of estrogen or progesterone receptors. This type of testing is part of the standard diagnostic procedures for breast cancers. The method that is most commonly used is immunohistochemistry (IHC), which can detect estrogen and progesterone receptors on cells in the cancer tissue. Breast cancers might have no receptors, estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or both (Cancer.net, n.d.).

    PSA: PSA is detected through a blood test, which is done to measure the amount of PSA present in the blood. PSA is a protein that is produced by the cells in the prostate gland. The higher the level of the PSA, the more likely it is that prostate cancer is present (although there may be other reasons that PSA is elevated). It is also important to note that some patients with prostate cancer do not have an elevated PSA. A PSA level of > 4.0 ng/ML is considered abnormal (NIH, 2012).


    Cancer.net. (n.d.). Estrogen and progesterone receptor testing for breast cancer. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.net/publications-and-resources/asco-care-and-treatment-recommendations-patients/estrogen-and-progesterone-receptor-testing-breast-cancer

    Fujirebio Diagnositics. (2013). Pancreatic cancer. Retrieved from http://www.fdi.com/us_home/patients/pancreatic_cancer.html

    Johns Hopkins. (2003). Ovarian cancer: Questions and answers about the CA-125 test. Retrieved from http://ovariancancer.jhmi.edu/ca125qa.cfm

    Mayo Clinic Staff. (2011). CA 125 Test. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ca-125-test/basics/definition/prc-20009524

    Mayo Medical Laboratories. (n.d.). Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) tumor marker, serum. Retrieved from http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8162

    MedicineNet. (2002). Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/carcinoembryonic_antigen/article.htm

    National Cancer Institute. (2011). Tumor markers. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/tumor-markers

    NIH. (2012). Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/PSA

    Thaker, N.G. (2012). CA 19-9: Reference range. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2087513-overview.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:27 pm ad1c9bdddf>