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The prevalence of variant alkaline phosphatase in hepatocellular carcinoma in southern African blacks


, : The prevalence of variant alkaline phosphatase in hepatocellular carcinoma in southern African blacks. Cancer 62(5): 978-981

The prevalence of variant alkaline phosphatase in the serum of 335 southern African blacks with hepatocellular carcinoma was determined using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The isoenzyme was detected in 2% (seven of 335) of the patients: it could not be found in the serum of 300 matched, healthy individuals or in 56 patients with various benign hepatic diseases. Variant alkaline phosphatase is thus of little use as a diagnostic marker of hepatocellular carcinoma in southern African blacks. The reported prevalence of this isoenzyme in hepatocellular carcinoma ranges between 3% and 31%. Higher frequencies usually are recorded in populations with a low incidence of the tumor, and the lowest frequencies have been found in Chinese patients. Our finding of variant alkaline phosphatase in only 2% of another high incidence population fits this trend. Patients with tumors that secreted the variant isoenzyme had a significantly higher serum total alkaline phosphatase activity than those with tumors lacking this property.

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Accession: 041721133

PMID: 2842030

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