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Clinical applications of serum carcinoembryonic antigen and alpha-fetoprotein levels in children with solid tumours.
  1. J R Mann,
  2. G E Lakin,
  3. J C Leonard,
  4. H A Rawlinson,
  5. S G Richardson,
  6. J J Corkery,
  7. A H Cameron,
  8. K J Shah

    Abstract

    A study was carried out on serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and alpha-feto-protein (AFP) levels, both measured by radioimmunoassay, in 88 children with malignant solid tumours and in 26 children with nonmalignant disorders, who presented during the years 1973-77. Slightly or moderately raised CEA levels were found at presentation in 11 of 66 children with malignant tumours, in 2 others with recurrent tumours, and in 4 children with nonmalignant disorders. Raised CEA levels generally indicated advanced malignant disease, often affecting the liver, or other hepatic disorders, but were not associated with a specific tumour type. Except in the first months of life, significantly raised AFP levels were detected only in 11 patients with yolk sac-derived tumours, or hepatomas, and in one child with tyrosinosis who later developed a malignant hepatoma. Serial measurements of AFP accurately reflected the clinical response to treatment and in 2 patients indicated recurrence before this could be detected clinically.

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