The metabolism of tumour related proteins
Over the past few years there has been an intense interest and excitement in studies of groups of serum proteins associated with neoplasms. These include myeloma and Bence—Jones proteins as well as a group of proteins termed oncofetal proteins. The oncofetal proteins are present in the biological fluids of the fetus and of patients with certain forms of cancer but are absent or in exceedingly low concentration in the serum of normal adults. The demonstration of such proteins provides valuable leads for basic research concerned with the nature of malignant transformation. In addition, the quantitation of these proteins is of great value in the diagnosis and monitoring of the treatment of certain forms of cancer. This is expecially true when simultaneous in vivo and in vitro measurements of rates of biosynthesis of these protein markers are used in approaches that permit the determination of the total body burden of tumour cells. In these latter studies, the total number of tumour cells producing a protein marker can be quantitated by determining 3 sets of parameters: (a) the serum concentration of the protein marker; (b) the total body synthetic rate of the protein marker determined by in vivo turnover procedures, and (c) the synthetic rate of the protein marker per milligram of tumour or per tumour cell determined using in vitro culture techniques. This approach has been applied to the study of multiple myeloma in order to define the total body burden of myeloma cells in patients with this disorder1,2.
KeywordsEmbryonal Cell Carcinoma Synthetic Rate Fractional Catabolic Rate Total Body Burden Iodine Monochloride
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