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Chapter 130 : Introduction
This is the introductory chapter to the section Cancer. Proven and investigational tumor markers are mostly proteins that have proven or anticipated use in the diagnosis and management of cancer patients and patients receiving immunologic therapies. Diagnostic oncology and immunology laboratories all over the world currently measure a number of biomolecules released from tissue into body fluids that are markers of tumor presence and growth. The measurement of these analytes assists oncologists in making more accurate diagnoses and managing their patients with cancer, especially as it relates to monitoring therapy, detecting cancer recurrence, and assessing the patient’s prognosis. This has been a challenging area of diagnostic immunology because most tumor markers are not elevated under all cancerous conditions and others are elevated under non-cancer conditions such as benign or nonmalignant disease.