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Br J Cancer. 2006 May 8;94(9):1231-2.

Lactate dehydrogenase is not a useful marker for relapse in patients on surveillance for stage I germ cell tumours.

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  • 1Mount Vernon Hospital, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 2RN, UK.


As part of surveillance protocols for stage I germ cell tumours, many centres routinely measure human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), alpha feto-protein (AFP) as well as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). In conjunction with regular imaging and clinical examination, does routine measurement of LDH add anything to our relapse/pick up rate? Records of 494 patients at Mount Vernon Hospital who relapsed on surveillance between 1985 and 2005 were examined. Of the 494 patients who relapsed, 125 had raised LDH at the time of relapse. 112 of these had a concurrent rise in either AFP, HCG or both, 11 had their disease detected on CT before the rise in LDH, one had a clinically palpable para-aortic mass and the final patient complained of back pain and his retroperitoneal disease was thus discovered on imaging. Routine measurement of LDH in patients on surveillance for stage I germ cell tumours does not add to the early detection of relapse.

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