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Tumor Markers: Relationship between Clinical Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics/Immunohistochemistry

Overview

This presentation will highlight the use of tumor markers in serum chemistry, and their relationship to the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with malignant disease. Tumor markers are molecules occurring in blood or tissue that are associated with cancer, and whose measurement or identification is useful in patient diagnosis or clinical management. The ideal marker would be a “blood test” for cancer, in which a positive result would occur only in patients with malignancy, would correlate with stage and response to treatment, and that is easily and reproducibly measured. No tumor marker now available has met this ideal, but development and discovery continues in the use of these markers for clinical diagnosis. This presentation will explore the use of common markers such as CA-125, Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP), CA 72.4, CA 15.3, CA19.9, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), and a variety of other enzymes and proteins now in use for the diagnosis and monitoring of malignancy. In addition, future serum tumor markers and the use of gene expression profiles and other information from circulating tumor cells (CTCs) will also be discussed.

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Learning Objectives

  1. An overview of current serum tumors markers, their different classifications, and their use in disease monitoring.
  2. The usage of tumor markers in patient diagnosis and management, in both clinical medicine and immunohistochemistry will be discussed.
  3. A review of future developments in tumor markers and diagnostic methods, including DNA isolation and gene expression profiles of circulating tumor cells.

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