Tumor Markers

Key Information

Monitoring levels of tumor and indicating a recurrence.

Liver Function Tests (Pancreas, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts)
A series of blood chemistry tests measuring enzymes excreted by the liver during abnormal functioning due to metastases, obstruction or other conditions. Also called: liver panel. A liver panel may contain any of the following tests. If any one of these tests is outside the normal range of values, the test should be reported as abnormal.

Test Normal Values
Alkaline Phosphatase (AIk.Phos.) 20 90 11.1/liter
Lactic Dehydrogenase (LDH) 100 190 a/L at 37 degrees
SGOT 8 46. a/L (M)
4 35 a/L (F)
SGPT 7 46 a/L (M)
4 35 a/L (F)
Leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) 80 200 Goldbarg Rutenburg a/ml (M)
75 185 a/ml (F)
Bilirubin (total) < 1.5 mg/dl

Alpha fetoprotein (Liver) A serum test used as a tumor marker for hepatocellular cancer. Elevated alphafetoprotein levels are also found in certain ovarian and testicular cancers. Note: Observe the date of an alphafetoprotein study carefully. Record a pre operative study only. Alpha fetoprotein is also used as a marker postoperatively to monitor residual tumor. Also called: aFP, AFP, alpha fetoglobulin.

Normal range: Adults: < 15 ng/ml.

a HCG (Alpha Subunit Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) (Pancreas) a nonspecific marker for pancreatic, pituitary, and placental tumors; elevated levels may be present in pancreatic cancer

a TSH (Alpha Subunit Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) (Pancreas) a marker that can differentiate pancreatic from other hormonal tumors; nonspecific also found in pituitary and placental tumors .

CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) (Pancreas, liver) a blood test measuring the presence of an antigen in malignancies arising in entodermal (embryonic) or gastrointestinal tissue. CEA assay is nonspecific for identifying a primary site, but it does indicate the presence of malignancy. Smokers may have an elevated CEA without malignant disease. Normal range: < 2.5 ng/ml. Normal range may vary somewhat according to institutional experience. Levels > 10 ng/ml suggest extensive disease and levels > 20 ng/ml suggest metastatic disease.

CA 19 9 (Cancer Antigen 19 9) (Pancreas, liver) monitors post therapeutic gastrointestinal cancer for recurrence; nonspecific to stomach cancer.

CA 195 (Cancer Antigen 195) (Pancreas) detects gastrointestinal cancers; changing level indicates progression or regression of tumor load; nonspecific to stomach cancer.

Gastrin (Pancreas) differentiates gastrin secreting non beta islet cell.tumors; levels above 1000 pg/ml are diagnostic of gastrinoma; also found in some benign conditions.

Glucagon (Pancreas) differentiates alpha cell tumors; levels above 900 are diagnostic of glucagonoma; also present in diabetes and other conditions.

Pancreatic Polypeptide (Pancreas) diagnoses pancreatic gamma cell tumors; elevated in APUD omas, VIPomas, and MEN (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia).

Proinsulin C peptide (Pancreas) differentiates cell type for endocrine secreting tumors; elevated in insulinoma and islet cell tumors.

Click here to view the Tumor Markers page of the Diagnostic Tests module for more information.