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Pediatr Res. 2014 Dec;76(6):544-8. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.126. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

α-Fetoprotein assay on dried blood spot for hepatoblastoma screening in children with overgrowth-cancer predisposition syndromes.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.



Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) and hemihyperplasia (HH) are overgrowth conditions with predisposition to hepatoblastoma for which early diagnosis patients undergo cancer screening based on determination of the tumor marker α-fetoprotein (αFP). Repeated blood draws are a burden for patients with consequent compliance issues and poor adherence to surveillance protocol. We sought to analyze feasibility and reliability of αFP dosage using an analytical micromethod based on blood dried on filter paper (DBS).


Overall 143 coupled αFP determinations on plasma and DBS collected simultaneously were performed, of which 31 were in patients with hepatoblastoma predisposition syndromes and 112 were in controls. The plasma αFP dosage method was adapted to DBS adsorbed on paper matrix for newborn screening.


There was strong correlation between plasmatic and DBS αFP (r2 = 0.999, P < 0.001). Cohen's k coefficient for correlation was 0.96 for diagnostic cut-off of 10 U/ml (P < 0.001), commonly employed in clinical practice. The measurements on plasma and DBS were highly overlapping and consistent.


The DBS method allowed to dose αFP reliably and consistently for the concentrations commonly employed in clinical settings for the screening of hepatoblastoma, opening new scenarios about conducting cancer screening in overgrowth syndromes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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