The histogenetic-embryologic basis for reappearance of alpha-fetoprotein in endodermal sinus tumors (yolk sac tumors) and teratomas.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

G Teilum, R Albrechtsen, B Norgaard-Pedersen

The mechanism of neosynthesis of the human tumor-associated fetal antigen alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in a variable percentage of patients with testicular, ovarian and extragonadal germ cell tumors has generally been considered unknown or beyond any simple explanation. Of decisive importance is the cellular basis for AFP production 1. in ontogenesis and 2. in malignancy as dependent on an exact tumor histogenesis. Based on (1) the histogenetic-embryologic classification of germ cell tumors and the concept of yolk sac tumor (or endodermal sinus tumor), (2) the available clinical and experimental observations, and (3) the immunofluorescent localization of AFP in the endodermal sinus tumor of the human testis, it is concluded that AFP synthesis in these neoplasms is explained by the fact that they contain yolk sac endoderm, which produce AFP analogous with the physiological AFP synthesis by the fetal yolk sac in early embryogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa pathologica et microbiologica Scandinavica. Section A, Pathology
Volume83
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)80-6
Number of pages6
ISSN0365-4184
Publication statusPublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Adult; Alpha-Globulins; Choriocarcinoma; Dysgerminoma; Female; Fetal Proteins; Germ Cells; Humans; Infant; Male; Ovarian Neoplasms; Pregnancy; Teratoma; Testicular Neoplasms

ID: 5237680