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Cancer. 1976 Oct;38(4):1684-6.

Human chorionic gonadotrophins (hCG) in non-trophoblastic neoplasms. Assessment of abnormalities of hCG and CEA in bronchogenic and digestive neoplasms.

Abstract

Evaluation of plasma hCG measurement in the diagnosis of nontrophoblastic neoplasms and assessment of the value of concomitant measurement of plasma hCG and CEA in patients with bronchogenic carcinoma and neoplasms of the digestive tract were undertaken. Only one of 70 normal control subjects had positive plasma hCG (3.5 ng/ml), whereas 54 of 320 patients with nontrophoblastic neoplasms had measurable plasma hCG (1.9 to 160 ng/ml). Forty of these patients had less than 5.1 ng/ml. Elevated plasma CEA levels of 3.6 to 140 ng/ml were found in 38 of the 70 patients with bronchogenic carcinoma and 30 of the 72 patients with neoplasms of the digestive tract in this series. Concomitant positive hCG was found in only six of the 68 patients who had elevated CEA levels, and positive hCG was found in eight of 74 patients who had normal plasma CEA. The low frequency and the modest elevation of plasma hCG, despite frequent advanced disease, indicate plasma hCG has limited value as a biologic marker for diagnosis and assessment of non-trophoblastic neoplasms.

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