Tessenderlo, Belgium -

ST AIA-PACK SCC: A new Analyte in our Tumour Marker Panel:

SCC-Ag or Squamous Cell Carcinoma antigen is a tumour-associated protein of squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous cells are epithelial cells found in many parts of the body: in the mouth and on the lips, on the cervix of the uterus, as well as in the middle layers of the skin. Squamous cells are the flat, as opposed to square (cuboidal) or rectangular (columnar) epithelial cells.
As squamous epithelial cells can be found in different places in the body the squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) can also develop in different places: In the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, SCC often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression. SCC is mainly caused by cumulative UV exposure over the course of a lifetime. It can become deadly if allowed to grow. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC in the skin are diagnosed each year in the US, resulting in approximately 2500 deaths. Also SCC’s are the most common cancers of the oral cavity but the most life threatening SCC’s are found in the
cervix of the uterus. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related death among women.
SCC-Ag is an excellent serological tumour marker for patients with carcinoma of the cervix. It can be used to classify the patients as the concentration correlates (see ABC of IVD October 2013) well with the stage of the disease, so in this way SCC-Ag is a good prognostic marker.
This marker is also useful to measure the effect of the treatment and to monitor recurrence of the tumour. However this marker cannot be used for screening as serum concentrations of SCC-Ag can be increased in a lot of common conditions and non-malignant benign diseases of
the skin (like eczema) and lung (like Tuberculosis). The best test for screening of SCC of the cervix is the PAP smear.
In the near future Tosoh will launch a test to quantify SCC-Ag called ST AIA-PACK SCC. This test will be added to our tumour marker panel.