We studied the half-life of serum calcitonin (CT) in patients subjected to total thyroidectomy for medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). One patient showed a rapid serum CT component with a half-life of 3 hours and a slow component with a half-life of 30 hours, in another case only the 30-hour component was found. By chromatography of tumor extracts, we found that all the immunoreactive CT had a molecular weight of 3,600. After surgery, normalization of serum CT vas achieved within 15 days in 4 patients, at 3 months and at 6 months in 2 other patients, while 1 patient never normalized. Normalization of serum CT after surgery is not an index of definitive cure in MTC, as demonstrated by one patient who relapsed 3 months after normalization of serum CT. However, as a general rule, patients who reach undetectable serum CT levels soon after surgery, are those having the best prognosis.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||International Journal of Biological Markers|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
- medullary thyroid cancer
- tumor markers
ASJC Scopus subject areas