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Alpha-Foetoprotein (alpha-FP) is a fetal globulin synthetized by the embryonic liver. In human beings the transition form alpha-FP to albumin as the dominant serum protein begins normally at the thirteenth week of gestation. Elevated serum levels of alpha-FP in adults have been found in patients with primary liver cancer, gonadal tumours and carcinomas of other tissues.
The project will include the assessment of the suitability of alpha-FP purified from a hepatoma cell culture for calibration of serum alpha-FP assays. The project could lead to the preparation and certification of serum reference samples.


A purified alpha-FP preparation form hepatoma cell line has been produced at the Sclavo Institute (Siena, I). The material as stated by the manufacturer, is >99 % pure. It is foreseen to use it as calibrator for the determination of the mass concentration of alpha-FP in serum reference materials. Further assessment of the identity and purity of the alpha-FP has been carried out while comparison of methods for measuring serum alpha-FP proceeds. Some 20 laboratories were involved in interlaboratory studies. A lot of 2500 ampoules of lyophilized purified alpha-FP is prepared. 9 laboratories will be involved in the value assignment campaign and certification is expected in 1993.


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Amersham International plc
EU contribution
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CF Cardiff
United Kingdom

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Participants (35)