The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Tumor Markers. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Specific Proteins as Tumor Markers

Several specific proteins have limited utility as tumor markers. These protein products of certain tumors include:
  • Monoclonal immunoglobulins
  • Bence Jones protein
  • Beta-2-microglobulin
  • C-peptide
  • Ferritin
  • Thyroglobulin
Of these specific proteins, the immunoglobulin fragments, typically the lambda and kappa light chains excreted in urine, are among the earliest of the tumor markers, as characterized by Dr. Henry Bence Jones in 1847.2 Bence Jones proteins are often manifestations of multiple myeloma, where a plasma cell tumor produces increased quantities of a single clone of an immunoglobulin.
The image shown here is of a sheet of plasma cells of a multiple myeloma.