Test Catalog

Test ID: ALFP    
Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Immunostain, Technical Component Only

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Aids in the identification of yolk sac tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is an oncofetal antigen normally expressed in fetal liver, but not present in normal adult tissues. AFP can be expressed in yolk sac tumors and in hepatocellular carcinomas.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This test does not include pathologist interpretation; only technical performance of the stain is performed. If an interpretation is required, order PATHC / Pathology Consultation for a full diagnostic evaluation or second opinion of the case.


The positive and negative controls are verified as showing appropriate immunoreactivity. If a control tissue is not included on the slide, a scanned image of the relevant quality control tissue is available upon request. Contact 855-516-8404.


Interpretation of this test should be performed in the context of the patient's clinical history and other diagnostic tests by a qualified pathologist.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Age of a cut paraffin section can affect immunoreactivity. Stability thresholds vary widely among published literature and are antigen-dependent. Best practice is for paraffin sections to be cut fresh.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Melms JC, Thummalapalli R, Shaw K, et al: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as tumor marker in a patient with urothelial cancer with exceptional response to anti-PD-1 therapy and an escape lesion mimic. J Immunotherapy Cancer 2018 Sept 12;6(1):89. doi.org/10.1186/s40425-018-0394-y

2. Suzuki A, Koide N, Kitazawa M, et al: Gastric composite tumor of alpha fetoprotein-producing carcinoma/hepatoid adenocarcinoma and endocrine carcinoma with reference to cellular phenotypes. Patholog Res Int 2012;2012:1-8

3. Tsung SH: The Characteristics of Immunoreactivity of Alpha-fetoprotein Producing Gastric Cancer. Cancer and Clinical Oncology 2013;2(1):73-79