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Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-producing gastric carcinoma. Is it hepatoid differentiation?



Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-producing gastric carcinoma. Is it hepatoid differentiation?



Cancer 65(8): 1741-1747



Biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses were done on five cases of gastric carcinoma with excessive production of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). Histologic and ultrastructural examination of these cases showed conventional poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of cuboidal or polygonal tumor cells in the medullary area with scattered AFP-positive cancer cells. Comparative studies on serum AFP between these cases and in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or in testicular yolk sac tumor cases using concanavalin A (ConA)-affinity and lens culinalis agglutinin A (LCA)-affinity sepharose columns revealed that the AFP derived from four cases had a high ConA nonadsorping rate and high LCA-reactive fraction similar to that of yolk sac tumor. The AFP from one case had a small LCA-reactive fraction similar to that of HCC. Further immunohistochemical study using several markers for liver cells or germ cell tumor did not show additional evidence of these tumor cells to differentiate into liver cells or yolk sac tumor cells. Thus, this study indicates that AFP-producing gastric carcinomas are not always derived from hepatoid differentiation of the foregut. These gastric carcinomas might be categorized into medullary tumor with gastrointestinal tract-specific AFP.

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Accession: 039219107

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PMID: 1690592

DOI: 10.1002/1097-0142(19900415)65:8<1741::aid-cncr2820650814>3.0.co;2-3


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