How to prepare and pass a blood test for oncomarkers

  • Calcitonin is a marker of medullary thyroid cancer. For children up to 6 months of age, the content of this hormone is considered normal up to 40 picograms in 1 milliliter of blood, for children from 6 months to 3 years - up to 15 picograms, for men - up to 12 picograms, for women - up to 5 picograms.
  • Prostatic Specific Antigen( PSA) is a marker of prostate disease. The norm for men under 40 is up to 2.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood, over 40 years - up to 4 nanograms.
  • Cyfra CA 21-1 ( a fragment of cytokeratin 19) is characteristic of lung cancer. The norm is up to 3.3 nanograms in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Alpha-fetoprotein( AFP) - increases with cancer of the liver, testes or ovaries. A small amount is determined in pregnant women. The norm is the value of up to 15 nanograms in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Beta-chorionic gonadotropin( beta-hCG) - may indicate chorionepithelioma, bladder drift. Urine is used as the test material, other than blood. Normal values ​​are considered to be 5 international units in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Beta-2-microglobulin - increases with leukemia( damage to the hematopoiesis system, so-called blood cancer).It is determined in blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid. The norm is within the range of 1-2.4 milligrams per 1 liter of blood.
  • Tumor-M2-pyruvate kinase( PK-M2) - used in the early diagnosis of colon or rectal cancer. In addition to blood, for diagnosis used cal. The norm of the substance in the blood is up to 15 units of action in 1 milliliter.
  • Cancerous embryonic antigen( CEA) - elevated for colon cancer or ovarian cancer. It can also indicate damage to the thyroid or mammary glands, lungs, liver, pancreas, bladder, cervix. Norm - up to 3 nanograms per 1 milliliter of blood.
  • CA 15-3 - is deciphered as an antigen-binding or cancer antigen 15-3.Is a marker of breast cancer. Normal values ​​are considered to be up to 28 units per 1 milliliter of the liquid being examined.
  • CA 19-9 - increases with oncology of the stomach, pancreas, gallbladder and ducts. The norm is up to 37 units in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • CA 50 - is investigated for cirrhosis of the liver and pancreatic carcinoma. The upper limit of the norm is 23 units per 1 milliliter of blood.
  • CA 72-4 - a marker of stomach cancer, is also used in the diagnosis of tumors of the ovaries, mammary glands, endometrium, pancreas, large intestine, lungs. Normal indices are up to 6.9 units per 1 milliliter of blood.
  • CA 125 - indicates the defeat of the ovaries. The norm is up to 35 units in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • CA 242 - signals the possibility of developing cancer of the pancreas, stomach, colon. The norm is up to 20 units per 1 milliliter of blood.
  • CA 549 - increases with carcinoma of the mammary gland. Limits of the norm are up to 11 units in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Oncomarker NOT 4 ( human epididymal protein) - indicates ovarian cancer. The norm for women under 50 is up to 60 picomoles per 1 liter of blood, in postmenopause - up to 140 picomoles.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma antigen( SCC ) - may indicate the development of cervical cancer, hearing, nasopharyngeal, esophagus. Normal values ​​are considered to be up to 2.5 nanograms per 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Neuron-specific enolase( NSE) - increases with small cell lung carcinoma, as well as with neuroectodermal or neuroendocrine origin tumors, neuroblastoma. The norm is up to 12.5 nanograms in 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Fabric polypeptide antigen( TPA) - is detected in carcinoma of the bladder, breast, cervix, bronchi, colorectal intestine. Normally the indicator does not exceed 85-120 units per 1 milliliter of blood.
  • Protein S-100 is a cancer marker that is sensitive to melanoma( skin cancer).The norm is not higher than 0.105 micrograms per 1 liter of blood. False positive result is possible with heart or nervous system diseases.
  • Chromogranin A - an increase in the level of this protein indicates neuroendocrine neoplasms. The norm is up to 4.5 millimoles per 1 liter of blood.
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Oncomarkers are a group of organic chemicals that are formed by pathological cells of the body or healthy tissues in response to the invasion of cancer cells. The concentration of these compounds increases with the appearance of malignant tumors, the growth of benign neoplasms or the occurrence of certain inflammatory diseases. To detect them, a specific blood test is needed - it allows you to identify serious illnesses in the early stages and determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

  • What are
  • markers Types and norms
  • Analyzes
  • Preparation of
  • How often to hand over
  • Decoding

What is an oncomarker

This definition includes a whole group of biomolecules of different nature and origin. However, all oncomarkers combine a common property - their level in the blood and urine increases with the formation of malignant or benign tumors in the body. Often these substances allow to learn about the development of the disease long before the appearance of its first obvious symptoms, which makes the treatment as effective as possible.

Basically, oncomarkers are blood products released into the blood of the neoplasms themselves or adjacent tissues. Healthy cells also produce some of these substances, but in much lesser amounts. To date, more than 200 such compounds are known, but only 20 of them are of diagnostic value.

At present, the blood test for oncomarkers has the following objectives:

  • Early diagnosis of cancer. Such tests should be combined with other methods of examination - X-ray, tomography, ultrasound.
  • Evaluation of treatment effectiveness. Depending on the increase or decrease in the concentration of substances, a decision is made to continue current therapy or other methods of treatment.
  • Monitoring of recurrences and metastasis of previously treated neoplasms. An increase in the number of tumor markers means that not all pathological cells were destroyed during therapy and the tumor is growing again.
  • Assessment of the need for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or tumor removal. The dynamics of changes in the number of markers can determine the stage of development of the tumor, its size and growth rate. For example, with a small lesion area, but a significant concentration of oncomarkers, it is believed that the tumor is active and there is a possibility of metastases - secondary malignant foci that are formed in the body when carrying cancer cells with a blood or lymph flow. Then before the operation, radio- or chemotherapy is performed, which reduces the likelihood of pathological cells spreading with blood during surgery.
  • Projections for the future. Monitoring of changes in the level of oncomarkers shows the completeness of remission of the disease, and in severe cases is the basis for calculating life expectancy.

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Species and norms

Depending on the origin, oncomarkers may be:

  • antigens of tumor cells;
  • antibody to tumor cells;
  • blood plasma proteins;
  • hormones;
  • neoplastic decomposition products;
  • enzymes formed during metabolism in the tumor.

Depending on how the oncomarkers differ from the substances produced by non-tumorous tissues, they are divided into 2 types:

  • Qualitatively different ( tumor-specific) - oncomarkers produced by neoplasm. In the body of a healthy person they are absent, since they are not produced by healthy cells. The detection of such structures in the blood, even in small amounts, is an alarming signal.
  • Quantitatively different - substances in a small concentration present in the body of a healthy person. The development of the tumor process is indicated by a sharp increase in their number in the blood.
Also these structures differ in some specificity, that is, they can indicate the defeat of specific organs:
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Analyzes of

To determine the level of oncomarkers, the method of enzyme immunoassay( ELISA) is used. The result is usually ready the next day.

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Preparation of

To obtain a reliable result, several rules should be followed when passing the analysis:

  • The study uses blood from the patient's vein, which is taken in the sitting or lying position. For 1 time you can determine from 1 to 3 oncomarkers.
  • The material is taken in the morning, on an empty stomach. After the last meal take at least 8 hours. If you want to get results faster, the analysis can be done at any time of the day, 2-3 hours after eating.
  • It is better for women not to conduct a study during menstruation - due to the characteristics of the body during this period, the results may be distorted. The optimal time for blood sampling is 5-10 days before the start of the next month.
  • It is desirable that the blood before the test is not frozen. Therefore, if in the laboratories the analysis for oncomarkers is carried out once a week or less, the patient should come to the institution on the day of the study.
  • 3 days before the analysis should adhere to a sparing diet - to exclude fatty, salty, sharp or sour dishes, alcohol.
  • At least a few hours before the study it is important not to smoke.
  • On the eve of blood sampling, do not overexert physical or emotional stress.
  • A few days before the tests should stop taking medications. If this is not possible, the names of the medicines must be transferred to the doctor.
Read more about the causes of the development, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer
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How often to take

There are schemes for conducting tests to monitor the state of human health:

  • Any person aged 30-40 years must donate blood to determine the initial level of oncomarkers against a background of complete health. Such a measure helps to track changes in these indicators in the future.
  • If the elderly person does not have primary data( analyzes for cancer markers in 30-40 years), it is recommended to undergo the study 2-3 times with an interval of 1 month, compare the indicators, determine the average value and track whether the concentration of substances increases.
  • People who underwent a course of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, as well as who underwent surgery to remove the tumor, should be tested at 2-10 days after treatment. In this way, a basic level of oncomarkers is obtained, which is further compared with the control indicators. The increase in the concentration of substances relative to baseline indices indicates ineffectiveness of the therapy or relapse of the disease.
  • Control comparisons with the baseline level of oncomarkers should be carried out also 1 month after treatment, and then every 2-3 months for 1-2 years and 1 time in six months for the next 3-5 years.
  • Before any changes in the treatment regimen, analyzes are also made and indicators recorded. The results obtained are considered to be the basis for determining the effectiveness of the new therapy: a decrease in the level of cancer markers indicates recovery, an increase in the incidence of therapy failure and the need to choose a different treatment strategy.
  • In the presence of close relatives with cancer diseases, it is recommended to undergo an examination on oncomarkers 1-2 times a year. With the same periodicity, tests should be given to people with benign tumors.
  • To healthy people living in ecologically unfavorable regions, and also undergoing frequent stresses or intoxications, it is advisable to take tests every 2-3 years for prophylaxis.
  • Men after 45 years of age need to undergo an annual examination at the level of PSA.
  • Many laboratories offer a comprehensive study of female genital organs on tumor markers, usually there are CA 125, CA 15-3, CEA, AFP, hCG.
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Explanation of

The analysis for oncomarkers does not have 100% confidence in the result, however the study of the concentration of these substances has a certain diagnostic value:

  • Elevated levels of substances detected once, does not necessarily mean the presence of a tumor. The analysis should be repeated after 3-4 weeks. Concentration of cancer markers within the limits of the norm during a repeated study indicates that the previous result was false positive. If the level of substances is increased, the patient must undergo a thorough examination to find out the location of the tumor and its structure.
  • Double positive tests also do not always indicate cancer. The change in the number of cancer markers in the blood can be triggered by benign tumors, inflammation, stress, and hormonal changes in the body.
  • In some cases, the development of cancer can be accompanied by a normal level of cancer markers.
  • The concentration of test substances can be referred to the stage of the disease.
  • Depending on the reagents used, the norm values ​​in different laboratories may differ slightly. Interpreting the results of the tests should be a specialist - an oncologist.
  • Apr 23, 2018
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