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The utility of tumour biomarkers has increased considerably in the era of personalised medicine and individualised therapy in oncology. Biomarkers may be prognostic or predictive, and only a handful of markers are currently US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for clinical use. Tumour markers have a wide array of uses such as screening, establishing a differential diagnosis, assessing risk, prognosis, and treatment response, as well as monitoring disease status. Major overlap exists between biomarkers and their associated pathologies; therefore, despite suggestive imaging features, establishing a differential diagnosis may be challenging for the radiologist. We review common biomarkers that are of interest to radiologists such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), prostate-specific antigen (PSA), beta human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), alpha fetoprotein (AFP), and carbohydrate or cancer antigen 125 (CA 125), as well as their associated malignant and non-malignant pathologies. We also present relevant case examples from our practice. Copyright © 2020 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


R M Lahoud, A O'Shea, C El-Mouhayyar, I D Atre, K Eurboonyanun, M Harisinghani. Tumour markers and their utility in imaging of abdominal and pelvic malignancies. Clinical radiology. 2021 Feb;76(2):99-107

PMID: 32861463

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