Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP, α-fetoprotein; also sometimes called alpha-1-fetoprotein, alpha-fetoglobulin, or alpha fetal protein) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the AFP gene.
The AFP gene is located on the q arm of chromosome 4 (4q25).
AFP is a major plasma protein produced by the yolk sac and the liver during fetal development. It is thought to be the fetal form of serum albumin. AFP binds to copper, nickel, fatty acids and bilirubin and is found in monomeric, dimeric and trimeric forms.
Elevated in sacrococcygeal teratoma.
Twelve cases of endodermal sinus tumor were reviewed. There were 10 females and 2 males with a median age at presentation of 3 years. The primary site was sacrococcygeal in 4 patients, vaginal in 3, retroperitoneal in 2, and testicular, ovarian and left chest wall in one each. The diagnosis rested on histopathological examination and elevation of serum alfa feto protein levels (median 46,200 ng/ml). Two patients had Stage I disease, 9 had Stage III and one had Stage IV disease. Patients were managed by surgery and chemotherapy (BVP regime). All patients on BVP (even those lost at later stages), had achieved clinical remission with the first cycle of treatment 1).