False elevations of alpha‐fetoprotein associated with liver dysfunction in germ cell tumors

Josep R. Germà, Marta Llanos, Josep M. Tabernero, Josefina Mora

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    48 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background. Determination of serum concentration human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and alpha‐fetoprotein (AFP) is crucial in diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and follow‐up of patients with germ cell tumors. Elevation of these markers almost indicates progression or recurrence of the germ cell tumor. However, an increase in these tumor markers can be produced by several benign causes. Methods. The authors report nine cases of gonadal germ cell tumors that had increased serum levels of AFP without tumoral progression, recurrence, or residual tumor. Results. The AFP elevations were attributed to liver damage secondary to drugs (chemotherapy, anesthetics, or antiepileptics), virus, or alcoholism. No clinical evidence (or in some cases surgical evidence) of malignant tumor activity was found in any of the patients. Conclusions. The elevation of serum levels of AFP in patients with germ cell tumors can be produced by liver dysfunction. These elevations must be interpreted with caution to avoid unnecessary treatments. Copyright © 1993 American Cancer Society
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2491-2494
    JournalCancer
    Volume72
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993

    Keywords

    • alpha‐fetoprotein
    • false elevations
    • germ cell tumor
    • liver dysfunction
    • tumor markers

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