Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Alpha-Fetoprotein Diagnostics

  • David E. Kaplan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_207-2

Synonyms

Definition

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a 68.7 kDa plasma protein synthesized primarily by the fetal liver and embryonic yolk sac that is highly homologous with human albumin. Widely expressed in the fetal liver, AFP mRNA is down-regulated in postnatal hepatocytes. Serum AFP levels are used clinically for detection, confirmation, and follow-up of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and nonseminomatous germ cell tumors, although lack of sensitivity and specificity complicate its use.

Characteristics

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a 590 amino-acid plasma protein that shares 40 % amino acid and 40–44 % nucleotide sequence homology with human serum albumin and is a member of the albumin gene superfamily. The AFP gene covers approximately 22 kB of DNA and has 15 exons and 14...

Keywords

Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Trail Receptor Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumor Albumin Gene Mixed Germ Cell Tumor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Abelev GI, Eraiser TL (1999) Cellular aspects of alpha-fetoprotein reexpression in tumors. Cancer Biol 9:95–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gupta S, Bent S, Kohlwes J (2003) Test characteristics of α-fetoprotein for detecting hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C. Ann Intern Med 139:46–50PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. Pardee AD, Shi J, Butterfield LH (2014) Tumor-derived α-fetoprotein impairs the differentiation and T cell stimulatory activity of human dendritic cells. J Immunol 193:5723–5732PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Richardson P, Duan Z, Kramer J et al (2012) Determinants of serum alpha-fetoprotein levels in hepatitis C-infected patients. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 10:428–433PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

See Also

  1. (2012) Germ cell tumors. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1541. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_6905Google Scholar
  2. (2012) P53. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 2747X. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_4331Google Scholar
  3. (2012) TGF–ß. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 3661. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5753Google Scholar
  4. Möslein G (2009) Colon cancer. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 722–727. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-47648-1_1265Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA