Alpha-Fetoprotein: Functions and Clinical Applications


Nisha Lakhi, M.D. (Editor)
Attending Physician, Clinical Professor, Director of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Richmond University Medical Centre, Staten Island, NY, US

Michael Moretti, M.D. (Editor)
Department Chairman, Doctor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Richmond University Medical Centre, Staten Island, NY, US

Series: Biochemistry Research Trends
BISAC: SCI007000

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) has many applications across various disciplines. This oncofetal protein is routinely used by clinicians for antenatal testing as well for the screening and treatment monitoring of certain malignances. Innovative research using AFP has also been very promising. Recent developments include the use of AFP or its recombinant fragments for drug delivery to cancer cells, as well as for the engineering of cancer vaccines and T cell immunotherapies. The anti-estrogenic potential of AFP has also been utilized to develop drugs directed against estrogen receptor positive malignancies.

This book is divided into five sections. In Section One, the history of AFP is recollected, and the role of AFP in normal and pathological conditions is explored. Section Two and Three focus on the utility of AFP during pregnancy. In Section Two, the use of routine maternal serum AFP screening for detection of chromosomal aneuploidies and neural tube defects in normal pregnancies and pregnancies with pre-existing disease is discussed; the potential use of AFP for the detection of preeclampsia is also reviewed. Section Three explores the pathogenesis and data linking unexplained elevations of AFP to adverse obstetrical outcomes. Section Four presents chapters that discuss AFP ligand binding, receptor targeting, and drug delivery strategies. Finally, Section Five serves to explain the regulatory roles of AFP, its use in immunotherapy, and in the development of cancer vaccines.

The aim of this book is to bring together some of the great research and clinical insights that currently surround AFP. The target audiences for this book are basic science researchers as well as clinicians.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Section 1: Alpha-fetoprotein History & Normal and Pathological Development

Chapter 1. The History of Alpha-fetoprotein Discovery
Vladimir Jurišić, Dina Nikulina (University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Svetozara Marković, Kragujevac, Serbia, and others)

Chapter 2. Alpha-fetoprotein in Development, After Liver Injury, During Chemical Hepatocarcinogenesis and in Liver Cancer: How the Study of Alpha-fetoprotein Led to the Concept of Cancer Stem Cells
Stewart Sell (Senior Research Physician, Wadsworth Laboratory, New York State Dept. of Health. Wadsworth Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY, USA)

Chapter 3. The Role of Alpha-fetoprotein in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Wenbo Meng, Bing Bai, Yan Li, Zhongtian Bai, Ping Yue, Kexiang Zhu, Wence Zhou, Xun Li (Special Minimally Invasive Surgery, the First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Gansu, China, and others)

Chapter 4. Use of Alpha-fetoprotein and other Biomarkers for Assessing Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Viral Hepatitis
Syed Abdul Basit, Mahendran Jayaraj, Christian D. Stone, Robert G. Gish (Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and others)

Chapter 5. Alpha-fetoprotein in a Protein Interaction Network: Systems Biology Approach in Discovery Biomarkers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
N.T. Moldogazieva, A.A. Terentiev (N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia)

Chapter 6. Alpha-fetoprotein in Malignant Pediatric Tumors
Lisa VanHouwelingen, John Sandoval (St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Baptist Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Memphis TN, USA)

Section 2: The Role of Alpha-fetoprotein in Maternal Serum Screening

Chapter 7. Role of Maternal Serum Alpha-fetoprotein as a Screening Marker after the Introduction of Cell Free-DNA in Aneuploidy Screening
Howard Cuckle, Eugene Pergament (Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA, and others)

Chapter 8. Maternal Serum Screening in Women with Pre-existing Diseases and Congenital Disorders: Effects of Alpha-fetoprotein on False Positive Screens and Course of Disease
G.J. Mizejewski (Division of Translational Medicine, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA)

Chapter 9. Use of Alpha-fetoprotein for Detection of Preeclampsia
Jonathan B. Carmichael, David A. Krantz (PerkinElmer Labs/NTD, Melville, NY, USA)

Section 3: Alpha-fetoprotein in Adverse Outcomes and Pregnancy Complications

Chapter 10. Alpha-fetoprotein and Fetal Anemia
Jose L Bartha (Professor and Head Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital La Paz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Chapter 11. Alpha-fetoprotein and Poor Pregnancy Outcomes: Observed Patterns, Pathophysiology, and Clinical Utility
Laura L. Jelliffe-Pawlowski, and Rebecca J. Baer (University of California San Francisco, CA, USA)

Chapter 12. Alpha-fetoprotein and Disorders of Placentation: Pathogenesis and Clinical Implications
Nisha Lakhi, Joanna Pessolano, Jane M. Ponterio, Michael Moretti (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island, NY, USA)

Section 4: Alpha-fetoprotein: Ligand Binding, Receptors, and Drugs

Chapter 13. Alpha-fetoprotein Structures, Functions and Binding Chemicals
Sugunadevi Sakkiah, Hui Wen Ng, Hao Ye, Heng Luo, Weigong Ge, Weida Tong, and Huixiao Hong (National Center for Toxicological Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Jefferson, Arkansas, USA)

Chapter 14. The Alpha-fetoprotein Receptor (RECAF): Characterization and Potential uses for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
Ricardo Moro (Program Chief and Director, Pacific Biosciences Research Centre, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada)
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Chapter 15. Alpha-fetoprotein and Recombinant Alpha-fetoprotein Fragments as Drug Delivery Tools
Galina Posypanova, Sergey Severin (National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Moscow, Russia)

Chapter 16. Anti-Breast Cancer Drug Derived from Alpha-fetoprotein
James A. Bennett, Herbert I. Jacobson, Thomas T. Andersen (Center for Immunology & Microbial Diseases, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Center for Cardiovascular Sciences, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA)

Chapter 17. Radiolabelling and Biodistribution Studies of GIP Peptides Derived from Alpha-fetoprotein
Michał Maurin, Piotr Garnuszek, Urszula Karczmarczyk, Ewa Laszuk, Gerald J Mizejewski (National Centre for Nuclear Research Radioisotope Centre POLATOM, Otwock, Poland)

Section 5: Alpha-Fetoprotein: Regulatory Roles, Immunotolerance, and Vaccines

Chapter 18. Cryptic epitope P149 of Alpha-fetoprotein: Role in Pregnancy and Breast Cancer
Dilip Vakharia, and Gerald Mizejewski (University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA, and others)

Chapter 19. Alpha-fetoprotein-Mediated Immune Tolerance and its Reversal
V.N. Pak, N.N. Belyaev (freelance researcher, Toronto, Canada, and others)

Chapter 20. Engineering Alpha-fetoprotein to Develop Vaccines and T Cell Immunotherapies for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: From Preclinical Studies to Future Perspectives
Yukai He, and Sha Wu (Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, Cancer Immunology, Inflammation, and Tolerance Program, Augusta, GA, USA)


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