Absence of the Cancer-associated Factor with a Molecular Weight of 60,000 from the Plasma of Patients with a Spectrum of Nonneoplastic Conditions

Dorothy E. Schumm, Thomas E. Webb, Margaret E. Hanausek-Walaszek, Zbigniew Walaszek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We demonstrated previously (Cancer Res., 42: 4964-4969, 1982) that a tumor-associated factor was consistently present in the plasma of over 100 human cancer patients with tumors at 31 different sites. The plasma of healthy controls had very low activity in the biochemical assay. In the present study, we show by a combination of molecular sieving and assay of nuclear RNA transport that the tumor-associated factor, which has a molecular weight of 60,000, is undetectable in the plasma of healthy adults. The low activity reported earlier is due to three normal cell factors of markedly different molecular weight. Furthermore, the tumor factor is shown to be absent from the plasma of male and female patients hospitalized for a variety of nonmalignant surgical conditions. Only the plasma from patients who were pregnant, suffered from chronic renal failure, or had recent myocardial infarction gave false positives in the biochemical assay. However, in these cases, the activity was due to an increase in the normal tissue-associated factors and not to the appearance of the M, 60,000 tumor-associated factor. The factor is present in amniotic fluid, confirming that it is a fetal factor which does not cross the placental barrier. Thus, it may be classified as an oncofetal factor. All four factors found in the plasma were identified in the cytosol from a human tumor. In summary, the tumor-associated factor appears to be tumor specific and can be unambiguously identified by bioassay of the plasma factors eluting from Sepharose CL-6 B columns in the M, 60,000 region. It can also be identified by examination of sodium dodecyl sulfate:polyacrylamide gel elec-trophoretograms of the appropriate Sepharose CL-6 B fractions after removal of albumin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Volume44
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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