Alpha-Fetoprotein levels are used primarily as markers in non-seminomatous testicular cancer and primary hepatocellular carcinomas. AFP may also be important in the diagnosis and staging of non-seminomatous tumours. Baseline levels are recommended as part of the initial work-up of patients suspected of having primary hepatocellular carcinoma or testicular cancer. Serial values may then be helpful for post treatment management. For non-seminomatous testicular carcinoma, AFP is usually used with ß-HCG.
AFP may also be elevated as a result of liver metastases arising from other primary cancers. Non-malignant elevations may be seen in birth defects, amniocentesis, hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
AFP is measured by a CMIA (chemiluminescent immuno-assay) on the Abbott ARCHITECT® analyzer. Samples may be serum (preferred) or plasma.
Reference Range = <11 µg/L
Interferences: HAMA, amniocentesis, hepatitis and cirrhosis.