A rare case of gastric carcinoma associated with increased serum variant alkaline phosphatase activities is presented. A 54 year old man had extremely high serum alkaline phosphatase activity (18,607 U/l) with normal calcium and phosphate concentrations. His bone scintigram showed abnormal findings, 'super bone scan'. He was diagnosed as having Borrmann type 4 gastric carcinoma with diffuse bone metastases by examinations of the upper gastrointestinal tract and iliac bone biopsy. The alkaline phosphatase isozyme of this patient was of the bone type as measured by cellulose acetate membrane electrophoresis and the placenta/bone type by agarose gel electrophoresis, respectively. Immunoelectrophoresis and the immunoprecipitation method using monoclonal antibodies against various alkaline phosphatase isozymes, however, showed that his serum alkaline phosphatase had the liver type antigenicity. Furthermore, it had a larger molecular size and different sugar chains compared with the common liver type alkaline phosphatase. These findings suggest that a unique variant alkaline phosphatase was produced by gastric cancer cells, which is possibly an explanation for the high serum alkaline phosphatase activities in this patient.
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