Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Clin Oncol. 2013 Jan;1(1):18-28. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

The proliferation marker thymidine kinase 1 in clinical use.

Author information

Sino-Swed Molecular Bio-Medicine Research Institute, Shenzhen 518057, P.R. China.


Tumor-related biomarkers are used for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of treatments and follow-up of cancer patients, although only a few are fully accepted for the detection of invisible/visible tumors in health screening. Thymidine kinase 1 (TK1), a cell cycle-dependent and thus a proliferation-related marker, has been extensively studied during the last decades, using both biochemical and immunological techniques. Therefore, TK1 is an emerging potential proliferating biomarker in oncology that may be used for the prognosis and monitoring of tumor therapy, relapse and survival. In addition, TK1 concentration in serum (STK1p) is a useful biomarker in healthy screening for the detection of potential malignancy development as well as the identification of early-stage tumors, with a few false-positive cases (ROC value, 0.96; tumor proliferation sensitivity, 0.80; specificity, 0.99). In this review, we examine results regarding the expression of STK1p and TK1 in relation to cancer patients and STK1p in health screening published between 2000 and 2012. The use of tumor-related markers recommended by international cancer organizations is also discussed. This review provides valuable information for applications in tumor patients, in health screening and for cancer research.


activity of thymidine kinase 1 in serum; cell proliferation marker; concentration of thymidine kinase 1 in serum; follow-up; health screening; immunohistochemistry; monitoring tumor therapy; oncology; prognosis; relapse; serum; survival; thymidine kinase 1; tumor marker

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center