Measurement of α-fetoprotein (AFP) concentrations in the serum of infants is useful for the management of testicular germ cell tumors, hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. Here, we provide a critical review of the available information about pediatric reference intervals (RI), focusing on their utility in interpreting AFP as an aid for cancer diagnosis. Evidence sources in the available literature were critically appraised. Out of 3873 retrieved papers, 24 were finally selected and carefully inspected, and six of them overcame exclusion criteria (i.e. methodological limitations in the study design, statistical gaps, drawbacks in traceability of the AFP assay to higher order materials and/or biased reporting of AFP results). Preterm and term infants up to the 3rd month of life exhibited the highest average AFP concentrations, but the attempt of defining RI by data pooling and partitioning for age intervals was impeded by the wide variability of data. The inability of defining robust RI in the first months of life made difficult, if not impossible, using upper reference limits for ruling out malignancies with a single AFP result. Evaluating the behavior of AFP concentrations 5 days from the baseline result, if this exceeds risk thresholds partitioned for age, according to the formula Xt=X0∗2-t/HL (where: t=days elapsed for AFP retest; HL=AFP half-life according to age; X0=AFP baseline concentration, and Xt=predicted AFP concentration at day 5), could give a better information. Novel studies defining AFP RI in infants based on robust methodology are warranted to improve the interpretation of AFP results in pediatric oncology. In the meantime, algorithms based on both serum AFP absolute concentrations and HL may aid in cancer diagnosis.
Serum α-fetoprotein in pediatric oncology : Not a children's tale / S. Ferraro, A. Panzeri, F. Braga, M. Panteghini. - In: CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND LABORATORY MEDICINE. - ISSN 1434-6621. - (2018 Oct 16). [Epub ahead of print]
|Titolo:||Serum α-fetoprotein in pediatric oncology : Not a children's tale|
|Parole Chiave:||germ cell tumors; hepatoblastoma; hepatocellular carcinoma; pediatrics; reference interval; α-fetoprotein|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/12 - Biochimica Clinica e Biologia Molecolare Clinica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||16-ott-2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2018-0803|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|