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Best practice in primary care pathology: review 14
  1. J C Cabrera-Abreu1,
  2. W S A Smellie2,
  3. R Bowley3,
  4. N Shaw3
  1. 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Berkshire and Battle NHS Trust, Reading, UK
  2. 2Department of Chemical Pathology, Bishop Auckland General Hospital, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, UK
  3. 3Sowerby Centre for Health Informatics, All Saints Business Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to W S A Smellie, Department of Pathology, Bishop Auckland Hospital, Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, UK; stuart.smellie{at}


This 14th best practice review is the second of a pair that examines tumour marker requesting primary care situations. This review considers carbohydrate antigen 125, α-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin. It is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question. The recommendations represent a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence-based medicine reviews, supplemented by MEDLINE EMBASE searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They will be updated periodically to take into account new information.

  • Cholesterol
  • lipids
  • lipoproteins
  • laboratory management
  • laboratory computing
  • medical education
  • management
  • evidence-based pathology
  • colorectal cancer
  • gall bladder
  • oncogenes
  • P53
  • pancreas
  • nutrition
  • molecular biology
  • laboratory tests
  • chemical pathology
  • diagnosis
  • tumour markers
  • urogenital pathology
  • liver cancer

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  • Funding This work has been supported (in alphabetical order) by the Association of Clinical Biochemists*, Association of Clinical Pathologists*, Association of Medical Microbiologists, British Society for Haematology, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Pathologists* and the Sowerby Centre for Health Informatics in Newcastle (SCHIN), whose representatives have contributed to the reviewing process. The opinions stated are, however, those of the authors. *These organisations contributed direct funding to support the project start up.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.