Monitoring response to treatment

Successful chemotherapy is invariably accompanied by a fall in serial HCG and AFP levels. The serum half-life of AFP is 5-7 days. An initial rise in tumour marker levels may occur soon after starting the first course of chemotherapy, due to tumour lysis. Occasionally, a plateau or even a rise in AFP levels may occur, despite evidence of response from all other investigations. This is due to AFP production by the liver in response to toxicity, most commonly after hepatotoxic drugs such as methotrexate and ifosfamide.

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