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Cancer Detect Prev. 1985;8(1-2):297-302.

Ferritin--a tumor marker in myeloid leukemia.


High serum ferritin levels without any correspondence to the amount of total body storage iron have been found in patients with leukemia. Investigating 96 adults with different types of leukemia, we found that serum ferritin can be used as a tumor marker in myeloid leukemias. Extremely high serum ferritin levels were seen in acute myeloblastic leukemia before treatment and in blastic crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia (ie, 21-fold increased serum ferritin concentrations). Patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia in complete remission had their ferritin concentrations decreased to normal. A relapse of the disease was paralleled by a repeated increase of serum ferritin level. In patients with chronic myeloid leukemia during the chronic phase we found normal serum ferritin concentrations, whereas blast crisis was associated with highly raised serum ferritin levels. We conclude that serum ferritin concentration must be valued as a clinically useful tumor marker in these types of leukemia, exhibiting a helpful and simple parameter in monitoring the activity of the disease.

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