Tumour marker

tumour marker

(Science: investigation, oncology) A substance in the body that usually indicates the presence of cancer.

These markers are usually specific to certain types of cancer and are usually found in the blood or other tissue samples.

Examples are alphafetoprotein (aFP), human chorionic gonadotropin, and lactate dehydrogenase (lDH).

They may be indicators of tumour stage and grade as well as useful for monitoring responses to treatment and predicting recurrence. Many chemical groups are represented including hormones, antigens, amino and nucleic acids, enzymes, polyamines, and specific cell membrane proteins and lipids.

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