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Tuesday 2 February 2010


Alpha-1-fetoprotein (AFP) is a 70 kDa glycoprotein, synthesized by the cells of the embryonic yolk sac, fetal liver and fetal intestinal tract.


Expression of AFP has been demonstrated in many hepatocellular carcinomas and in gonadal and extragonadal germ cells tumors, including yolk sac tumors.

The anti-AFP antibody may be useful for the identification of non-neoplastic and neoplastic liver diseases, yolk sac tumors and mixed germ cell tumors.

- yolk sac tumor

  • Elevated AFP levels in an infant with yolk sac tumor of the testis must be interpreted with caution because of the normal physiologic elevation seen in infancy.
  • Serial monitoring of the AFP degradation curve helps in identifying true residual disease in infants with an initial elevated AFP and yolk sac tumor.