Significance of placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) in the monitoring of patients with seminoma

Br J Urol. 1996 Jan;77(1):138-42. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.1996.74324.x.


Objective: To investigate the significance of placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) as a tumour marker for seminoma.

Patients and methods: A total of 673 serum samples from 116 patients with testicular germ cell tumours (78 seminomas and 38 non-seminomas) were analysed for several markers including PLAP, total alkaline phosphatase (AL-P), alpha fetoprotein (AFP), beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG-B), and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH).

Results: Serum PLAP was increased initially in about 50% of patients with seminoma, and the mean magnitude of elevation was about five times the normal value. There was no significant correlation between PLAP and LDH or between PLAP and HCG-B. Therefore, a combination of these three markers was of value, and resulted in a positive identification rate of 82% of patients with seminoma. False-positive results for PLAP appeared in 1.6% of 673 samples investigated.

Conclusion: The monitoring of serum PLAP might be of value, as fluctuations in this marker provide information about disease status and prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / metabolism
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests*
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seminoma / diagnosis*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase