Serum thyroglobulin as a preclinical tumour marker in subgroups of thyroid cancer

Br J Cancer. 1988 Jan;57(1):105-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1988.19.


Serum samples from a biological serum bank taken several years before the diagnosis of cancer, were analysed for S-Tg and S-TSH in 43 patients with thyroid cancer and compared to 128 healthy controls matched for age, sex, geographical region and time of blood sampling. The main finding was the difference in S-Tg between cases and controls, the highest values being found in sera from cases. Relative risk of thyroid cancer increases with increasing S-Tg levels (the global test giving P less than 0.0005). Extremely high levels were found in 4 cases with follicular and 3 with anaplastic cancers. No such statistically significant difference was found in S-TSH concentration. Possible explanations for the elevated S-Tg observed several years before clinically evident malignant tumour are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroglobulin / blood*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / blood*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Thyroglobulin