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Relation between raised concentrations of fucose, sialic acid, and acute phase proteins in serum from patients with cancer: choosing suitable serum glycoprotein markers.
  1. G A Turner,
  2. A W Skillen,
  3. P Buamah,
  4. D Guthrie,
  5. J Welsh,
  6. J Harrison,
  7. A Kowalski


    Serum concentrations of fucose, sialic acid, and eight acute phase proteins were measured in single specimens from patients with cancer in order to determine whether the raised concentrations of protein bound sugars commonly found in cancer correlate with increased concentrations of the acute phase proteins. Strong positive correlations were found only with alpha 1-acid glycoprotein, alpha 1-antitrypsin, and haptoglobins. Changes in protein bound sugars and acute phase proteins were also examined in relation to patients' disease states. Serum fucose was raised more often in patients with advanced disease than in those in whom the spread of the tumour was more restricted; increased sialic acid concentrations, however, were found with a similar frequency in both these groups. Combined use of fucose and sialic acid values gave a high degree of marker positivity which could be only slightly improved on by including measurement of acute phase proteins. The combined use of serum fucose and sialic acid concentrations may have value in monitoring patients with cancer: the sialic acid provides an index of the acute phase response and the fucose a measure of the tumour spread.

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