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Int J Biol Markers. 2000 Apr-Jun;15(2):139-46.

The clinical significance of thymidine kinase 1 measurement in serum of breast cancer patients using anti-TK1 antibody.

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Department of Oncology and Pathology, Medical Radiobiology Section, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The activity of total thymidine kinase in serum (S-TK) has been used as a tumor maker for decades. To date such activity has been determined using [125]I-iodo-deoxyuridine as a substrate. The aim of this study was to develop a new, antibody-based technique for the measurement of cytoplasmic thymidine kinase (TK1) in serum. Both mono- and polyclonal antibodies against S-TK1 were used in dot blot assay. S-TK1 was characterized by SDS and IEF techniques. Sixty-five breast cancer patients were studied, including 17 preoperative and 38 postoperative tumor-free patients and 10 patients with metastases to the lymph nodes (N1-2). They were compared to patients with benign tumors (n=21) and healthy volunteers (n=11). S-TK1 was low (0-1.0 pM) in healthy volunteers, while in preoperative patients the level was increased 6-110-fold. Significant differences were observed between preoperative patients and healthy volunteers (p=0.005), preoperative patients and patients with benign tumors (p<0.001), and preoperative patients and postoperative patients without metastases (p<0.001). No significant difference was observed between preoperative patients and postoperative patients with metastases (p=0.191). The S-TK activity in preoperative patients was also high in serum, but no decrease was observed following surgery. In conclusion, the anti-TK1 antibody could be a good marker for monitoring the response of breast cancer patients to therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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