Specimen Requirements

Title

AFP (alpha-fetoprotein)

Specimen Requirement

1 SST/2.0 mL serum. After 30 minutes of clotting, promptly centrifuge and refrigerate serum.

Methodology

Stability

Refrigerated: 48 hrs

Reference Range

By Report*

Turnaround

1 Day

Clinical Use

This assay is used to diagnose and monitor treatment and determination of prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: With sensitive procedures, elevations of AFP will occur in 90% of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. This assay is not a screening test for cancer and must never be used as such. AFP testing is a safe and effective supplement to patient care when used as part of the overall management strategy for patients undergoing treatment for nonseminomatous testicular cancer or for patients being monitored after therapy is complete. Do not interpret serum AFP as absolute evidence of the presence of malignant disease. At time of presentation, patients with cconfirmed non-seminomatous testicular cancer may have serum AFP concentrations within the range observed in healthy individuals. Since elevated AFP levels are often found in patients with other malignant and non-malignant conditions, the physician should rule out all other conditions associated with elevated AFP levels prior to the use of these AFP values in non-seminomatous testicular cancer management. Conversely, low concentrations of AFP are not necessarily indicative of absence of disease particularly post-surgery or after chemotherapy. Testicular tumors that are histologically categorized as pure seminoma do not synthesize AFP. This assay is intended for the evaluation of non-seminomatous testicular cancer, or mixed tumor with non-seminomatous elements, but not for pure seminoma. Additionally, several histologic subtypes of non-seminoma either do not synthesize AFP (choriocarcinoma) or do not unpredictably (teratoma). Therefore, AFP levels should be used concurrently with other diagnostic and clinical patient information.

Test Code

AFP