SAUL W. ROSEN, Ph.D., M.D., F.A.C.P.; BRUCE D. WEINTRAUB, M.D.; JUDITH L. VAITUKAITIS, M.D.; HOWARD H. SUSSMAN, M.D.; JEROME M. HERSHMAN, M.D., F.A.C.P.; FRANCO M. MUGGIA, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Placental proteins and their unique subunits are not normally detected in the circulation, even with immunoassays sensitive to 1 ng/ml. Their presence in the serum of a man or nonpregnant woman indicates neoplasm. Placental lactogen, chorionic gonadotropin, and placental alkaline phosphatase have been extensively studied, and some retrospective prevalence data are available for these discordantly produced tumor "markers." Their serum concentrations have also been useful, in certain cases, to help monitor response to therapy. Chorionic thyrotrophin, a newly described placental protein, has not yet been as well characterized. Ectopic placental alkaline phosphatase produced by a bronchogenic carcinoma has been purified from hepatic metastases, and its properties (including peptide maps) have been indistinguishable from alkaline phosphatase purified from placenta. Recent elucidation of the subunit nature of the glycoprotein trophic hormones and development of sensitive and specific assays for their determination has led to recognition of instances, both in vivo and in vitro, of unbalanced and even isolated production of such subunits by tumors.
ROSEN SW, WEINTRAUB BD, VAITUKAITIS JL, SUSSMAN HH, HERSHMAN JM, MUGGIA FM. Placental Proteins and Their Subunits as Tumor Markers. Ann Intern Med. 1975;82:71–83. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-82-1-71
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;82(1):71-83.
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