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Cancer Invest. 1990;8(3-4):351-6.

The diagnostic validity of the serum tumor marker phosphohexose isomerase (PHI) in patients with gastrointestinal, kidney, and breast cancer.

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Institute of Biochemistry Medical Faculty, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


The diagnostic validity of the glycolytic enzyme phosphohexose isomerase (PHI) as a serum tumor marker was evaluated. For this purpose the sensitivity of PHI was determined in 435 patients with histopathologically defined, malignant gastrointestinal, kidney, and mammary tumors prior to primary treatment. To assess the specificity, PHI serum activities were measured in 181 patients with benign diseases and disorders from an internal practice. In gastrointestinal and kidney cancer, PHI reached an overall diagnostic sensitivity of about 70%, and a specificity of 92% was obtained. Even in early stages without metastasis, elevated PHI serum levels were found in about 60% of the patients. In mammary cancer, however, a sensitivity of only 40% was observed. PHI activity can be measured without the need for highly technical skills and equipment, in a short time and at low cost. These data suggest that serum PHI can be a useful indicator in the preventive checkup of gastrointestinal and renal cancer in medical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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