Use of the biological tumor markers α-fetoprotein (α-fp) and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) has enabled National Cancer Institute (NCI) researchers to markedly reduce clinical staging errors in patients with testicular cancer.
In a report to the National Conference on Urologic Cancer held in Los Angeles under the sponsorship of the American Cancer Society, Nasser Javadpour, MD, senior investigator in the Surgery Branch of the NCI, said clinical staging errors can be brought down to a range of 5% to 14%.
In addition, NCI investigators have learned that persistently elevated serum markers after orchiectomy for testicular cancer invariably indicate stage II or III disease, and persistently elevated serum markers after lymphadenectomy, whether or not lymph nodes are positive for tumor, indicate stage III disease.
The tumor markers were measured in the sera of 356 patients with testicular germ cell cancer seen at the NCI during the past seven years. The diagnosis