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AFP Elevation During Chemotherapy

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  • AFP Elevation During Chemotherapy

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this forum, however, I have been following your posts since the day I was diagnosed.

    I was diagnosed with 100% Embryonal Carcinoma with LVI + and I opted for the BEP x1 with the intention of putting my mind at rest more than surveillance. However, my AFP values are really concerning me.

    When diagnosed my tumor markers were normal (AFP: 4.3 IU/ml / HCG <1 / LDH 145).

    Pre-Chemo my AFP went lower (AFP: <1.1 IU/ml / HCG <1 / LDH 113)

    However, as soon as I started my Chemo, the AFP started to rise. One week into chemo the AFP was 2.7IU/ml (still in normal range) but the blood test before my last Bleo showed that my AFP was 9.6 IU/ml (over the normal range).

    I am really scared that this could mean that I relapsed during my chemo. I am not sure if chemo affects the AFP levels and if the fact that chemo made me constipated for the first 10 days resulting in a lot of stomach and tummy aches together with acid reflux could have also affected my AFP levels. I was also given GCSF injections due to a low immune system.

    Thank you everyone for your help.

  • #2
    AFP is also produced by your liver in certain circumstances. Just slightly over normal limit during chemo is of no concern in my opinion. Mine also goes up if I do my blods after a long weekend where I drank a bit too much


    • #3
      Thank you Webzfactory.

      I did a new blood test and AFP went down to 2.5IU/ml. It was a huge relief 😁


      • #4
        As the cancer cells die it is not uncommon to see a temporary rise in the AFP, especially with the first cycle. I would be concerned if I was stage I disease and my AFP was elevated as that could be an indication that I was not stage I but really stage II. However, at a level of 9.6, even though perhaps reported as high by the laboratory isn't usually an area of concern, until it is greater than 25 or there are other signs of metastasis. Some guys just have higher AFP levels naturally, compared to the lab normals.

        Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
        06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
        06.26.06 Left I/O
        06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
        06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
        Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
        6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary

        For some reason I do not get notices of private messages on here so please feel free to email me directly at if you would like to chat privately so as to avoid any delays.


        • #5
          Hi Mike,

          Thank you for your reply. I was diagnosed at stage 1B and opted for BEP x1. I did another blood test last week and the AFP was 2.5 IU/ml. Should I be concerned even though it went down?

          On diagnosis, my markers were all normal.

          Thank you


          • #6
            New results:

            Afp went down to 1.5 IU/ml in 5 days
            CT clear

            I emailed Dr Einhorn and he confirmed that my relapse rate, if ever, is still 1-2%.