Tumor markers are biological substances that are produced/released mainly by malignant tumor cells, enter the circulation in detectable amounts and are potential indicators of the presence of a tumor. The most useful biochemical markers are the tumor-specific molecules, i.e., receptors, enzymes, hormones, growth factors or biological response modifiers that are specifically produced by tumor cells and not, or minimally, by the normal counterpart (Richard et al. Principles and practice of gynecologic oncology. Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia, 2009). Based on their specificity and sensitivity in each malignancy, biomarkers are used for screening, diagnosis, disease monitoring and therapeutic response assessment in clinical management of cancer patients.This chapter is focused on human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone with a variety of functions and widely used as a tumor biomarker in selected tumors. Indeed, hCG is expressed by both trophoblastic and non-trophoblastic human malignancies and plays a role in cell transformation, angiogenesis, metastatization, and immune escape, all process central to cancer progression. Of note, hCG testing is crucial for the clinical management of placental trophoblastic malignancies and germ cell tumors of the testis and the ovary. Furthermore, the production of hCG by tumor cells is accompanied by varying degrees of release of the free subunits into the circulation, and this is relevant for the management of cancer patients (Triozzi PL, Stevens VC, Oncol Rep 6(1):7-17, 1999).The name chorionic gonadotropin was conceived: chorion derives from the latin chordate meaning afterbirth, gonadotropin indicates that the hormone is a gonadotropic molecule, acting on the ovaries and promoting steroid production (Cole LA, Int J Endocrinol Metab 9(2):335-352, 2011). The function, the mechanism of action and the interaction between hCG and its receptor continue to be the subject of intensive investigation, even though many issues about hCG have been well documented (Tegoni M et al., J Mol Biol 289(5):1375-1385, 1999).
|Titolo:||The role of human chorionic gonadotropin as tumor marker: Biochemical and clinical aspects|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|