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THE VALUE OF MEASURING ALPHA-FETOPROTEIN IN PATIENTS WITH GASTRIC CANCER
Dr. Haydar Abd Al-Kader Al-Jawadi*
Gastric cancers are among the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the world. Advances in preclinical diagnostic methods have been resulted in dramatic changes in determining the survival of patients. Evaluation of serum level of tumor markers is one of these methods. Tumor markers are substances that can often be detected in higher than normal amounts in blood, urine, or body tissues of some patients with certain types of cancer. In this study the samples were collected from two groups; the first group consisted of 30 healthy volunteers (14 female and 16 male) aged between 20-60 years (45.47 ± 10.87), the second group consisted of 16 patients with gastric cancer, aged between 45-70 years (61.75 ± 9.32) were classified according to presence of metastasis (4 cases), regional lymph nodes involvement (4 cases), patients with distant metastasis (5 cases) and lastly patients with recurrence after previous operation (3 cases). Histologically they were classified into patients with well differentiated adenocarcinoma (10 cases), and those with poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (6 cases). AFP measured for both healthy and patients’ groups and give a significant difference at p< 0.01 for serum level of AFP as mean ± SD between control and patients with gastric cancer. The sensitivity of AFP in patients with gastric cancer in all studied subjects was 43.75% which increased to 58.3% in patients with metastasis only. The mean value of serum AFP level was shown to be higher in patients with metastasis than those without metastasis, this level is independent to the site of metastasis. The difference in AFP level showed a significant difference at p<0.05 between them, with a higher level of AFP being detected in patients with liver metastasis. In comparing the results of AFP in different histological types of gastric cancer, the results show that patients with undifferentiated carcinoma did not have significant lower level of AFP than those with more differentiated cancer.[Full Text Article]