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Do tumor marker initially rise after starting chemo?

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  • spok
    started a topic Do tumor marker initially rise after starting chemo?

    Do tumor marker initially rise after starting chemo?

    The treating onc says that they do because the drugs "blast dead tumor cells round the body" (or something like that) which are picked up by the test. To be fair, he did tell me this
    before I had my markers done. If I am correct my AFP went from 410 (day 1) to 390 (day 14) so it is possible they shot up somewhere between these dates and are now on the
    descent. He says if they are rising after the next blood work he will be "scared".

    I am just wondering if what the onc says about initially rising markers gels with anyone's personal experience.

    Also, is it really the case that one should not get CT scan until weeks after chemo has finished (due the risks of radiation) on the compromised immune system? It seem
    infuriating that one has to rely solely on TMs, which as we know from this forum, seem to have a dubious correlation with abdominal node size.

  • Smartie

    Yes, it is a known phenomenon for markers to spike because of cell death. It is referred to as tumour lysis.

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  • jaygatz4213
    There is a paper by Bosl at MSKCC that tried to predict outcomes based on rate of decay of tumor markers after starting chemo therapy.

    It said in the paper that they measure markers before starting and at day 7 or 10, I can't remember which , because there is almost always an increase in markers due to cell death. I'm on the bus now , but I'll try to find the paper later and post it. Also remember AFP half life is 5 to 7 days so it could take some time for it to leave your body

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