CA 72-4 (CARBOHYDRATE ANTIGEN 72-4, CANCER ANTIGEN 72-4, TUMOUR-ASSOCIATED GLYCOPROTEIN 72, TAG 72) BLOOD TEST

CA 72-4 Can be used in combination with tumour M2-PK for detection of gastric cancer. CA 72-4 is specific (100%) for oesophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancer, but not very sensitive (18%, 32%, and 56%, respectively) when tested alone. When used in combination with M2-PK, there is increased sensitivity for gastric cancer up to 81% and increased sensitivity for oesophageal cancer to 74% (Schneider et al, 2005). The test is more sensitive than CA 125 for ovarian cancer and has been found to be most elevated in the mucinous type of ovarian cancer; it is less sensitive than CA 19 for pancreatic cancer.

The MUC1 gene is a high-molecular-weight glycoprotein found in specific tissues throughout the body. The MUC1 gene has many varieties of carbohydrate chains that are termed mucin-like antigens, and one of these is the carbohydrate antigen 72-4 (CA 72-4) that circulates in the bloodstream when cancer is present. CA 72-4 is elevated in several types of gastrointestinal cancer and in ovarian cancer, and levels are most useful when evaluated in combination with other carbohydrate antigens. CA 72-4 is not helpful in detecting micro-metastasis of colorectal cancer but is positive in advanced metastatic tumours. It is being investigated for its usefulness as a prognostic indicator of survival in gastric cancer. CA 72-4 levels are determined using a monoclonal antibody immunoassay.

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About Genomic Medicine UK

Genomic Medicine UK is the home of comprehensive genomic testing in London. Our consultant medical doctors work tirelessly to provide the highest standards of medical laboratory testing for personalised medical treatments, genomic risk assessments for common diseases and genomic risk assessment for cancers at an affordable cost for everybody. We use state-of-the-art modern technologies of next-generation sequencing and DNA chip microarray to provide all of our patients and partner doctors with a reliable, evidence-based, thorough and valuable medical service.

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