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LDH – useful cancer marker?


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With my last blood test, the doctor requested something new for me: Serum LDH level! Stands for lactic acid dehydrogenase. The reference was 90 to 200 IU/L for normal. Mine was a little high at 224.

From what I can surmise, it is usually involved in cancer classification schemes & resulting survival statistics. A quick search at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=Books yielded the following highlights:

1) Elevated LDH is a less-specific cancer marker and is mainly a correlate of disease bulk.

2) LDH has been reported as a prognostic factor. In particular, high LDH identifies patients with a higher likelihood of metastases and late in therapy, is useful as a predictor of recurrent disease.

Have some of your doctors been keeping track of LDH? Could you help me understand its significance?

Thank you!

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LDH is a non-specific enzyme that is elevated in the presence of virtually any kind of tissue damage. Liver disease, muscle trauma, and myocardial infarction (heart attack) are among the common causes of LDH elevation. Not very useful as a cancer marker, unfortunately.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would post this in ask the experts if you havnt already.

I also posted this question a few months ago. Mine was up and down for months. My Onc. said he felt mine was related to rad of my chest and related inflamtion and damage as mine was normal upon dx, then started climbing as I had rad. Now normal again.


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