Gynecologic tumor markers.
The advent of monoclonal technology has increased the potential utility of antibody-dependent tumor marker assays in gynecologic oncology. The availability of unlimited quantities of several pure monoclonal antibodies directed against novel epitopes on tumor-associated antigens has permitted development of highly sensitive assays for serum markers. Traditional assays for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), NB/70K and TA-4 have been improved. CA 125 has provided a useful first-generation marker for monitoring ovarian cancer and triaging patients with pelvic masses, despite limitations in sensitivity and specificity. In the next decade, the challenge is to identify new markers that will complement CA 125 in monitoring ovarian cancer and facilitate screening for occult early-stage disease. Strategies involving multiple markers and modalities may be required. Some markers may emerge through a more fundamental knowledge of the biology of gynecologic neoplasms, including the expression of growth factors and their receptors. Finally, the application of monoclonal antibodies to immunohistochemistry and radionuclide imaging also may provide new areas of diagnostic application for monoclonal antibodies in gynecologic oncology.
Olt, GJ; Berchuck, A; Bast, RC
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