Research Article

Localisation of malignant germ-cell tumours by external scanning after injection of radiolabelled anti-alpha-fetoprotein.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 10 October 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:942
  1. A K Halsall,
  2. D S Fairweather,
  3. A R Bradwell,
  4. J C Blackburn,
  5. P W Dykes,
  6. A Howell,
  7. A Reeder,
  8. K R Hine


    Sheep IgG antibody to alpha-fetoprotein was labelled with 131I and used to identify human germ-cell tumours by emission scanning. Eleven patients were studied after resection of their primary tumours. Ten had malignant teratoma and one an endodermal sinus tumour. All eight patients with raised serum alpha-fetoprotein concentrations had metastases apparent in the antibody scans. Of the remaining three patients with normal serum alpha-fetoprotein concentrations, two had positive scans. Three of the patients with positive results were scanned twice; the second scans were negative after treatment, when the alpha-fetoprotein concentrations had returned to normal. These result suggest that antibody scans are useful in the clinical management of patients with germ-cell tumours.