Evaluation of circulating calcitonin: Analytical aspects

Antonia Martinetti, Ettore Seregni, Leonardo Ferrari, Federica Pallotti, Gianluca Aliberti, Angela Coliva, Silvia Fracassi, Emilio Bombardieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim: Calcitonin (hCT) is a useful serum marker for the diagnosis and monitoring of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). However, hCT values provided by different methods may differ, leading to difficulties In the interpretation of hCT results. In this study we compared four immunoradiometric (IRMA) and radiolmmunometric (RIA) assays for hCT determination. Material and methods: hCT was measured in 35 patients by means of the following commercially available IRMA or RIA kits: CT US (Biosource), IRMA hCT (Schering-CIS bio international), ultra-sensitive calcitonin (DSL), and calcitonin assay (Scantibodies). A comparison of the distribution of the hCT values measured by the tested IRMA-RIAs and a correlation analysis were performed. Results: The hCT values were widely dispersed and the classification of the patients according to the hCT cutoff value varled depending on the assay used. Conclusion: Despite efforts to develop new, highly specific antibodies, the evaluation of this marker is still flawed by analytical inaccuracy. hCT values are widely dispersed depending on the method used for marker measurement; as a consequence, patient classification according to the hCT cutoff value is still dependent on the assay used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-568
Number of pages3
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


  • Calcitonin
  • Immunoradiometric assays
  • Medullary thyroid carcinomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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