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Serum tumor markers in testicular germ cell tumors

M Dror Michaelson, MD, PhD
William K Oh, MD
Section Editor
Philip W Kantoff, MD
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD


Testicular germ cell tumors (GCTs) are one of the most curable solid neoplasms due to remarkable treatment advances that began in the late 1970s. Prior to that time, testicular cancer accounted for 11 percent of cancer deaths in men between the ages of 25 and 34, and the five-year survival rate was 64 percent [1]. Currently, the five-year survival rate is over 95 percent, largely due to a better understanding of the natural history of testicular tumors, improved staging and surgical techniques, the use of effective platinum-based combination chemotherapy, and the availability of highly sensitive serum tumor markers to detect minimal residual disease. (See "Overview of the treatment of testicular germ cell tumors".)

Three serum tumor markers have established roles in the management of men with testicular GCTs:

The beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG)

Alpha fetoprotein (AFP)

Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 17, 2017.
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