Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
The recent availability of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) assay has stimulated great clinical interest in tumor antigens. Carcinoembryonic antigen is not the only specific or tumor-associated antigen currently identified. There are a number of other tumor antigens which have been isolated, some of which are related to CEA and some of which are totally different. There is, for example, a nonspecific cross-reacting antigen (NCA) which has been discovered in certain preparations which were considered originally to be CEA. Nonspecific cross-reacting antigen is a beta globulin (25% carbohydrate) which cross-reacts with antibodies to CEA and may be the nonspecific background element that causes the CEA titer to be elevated in certain nonmalignant diseases. There is also a membrane-associated, low molecular weight tissular autoantigen (MTA) which has been recently identified. However, this material is not antigenetically related to CEA or NCA.
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