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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Thymidine kinase 1 as a tumor biomarker: technical advances offer new potential to an old biomarker

Jagarlamudi, Kiran Kumar; Shaw, Martin


Thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) is a key enzyme in DNA precursor synthesis. It is upregulated during the S phase of the cell cycle and its presence in cells is an indicator of active cell proliferation. In studies since the 1980s, TK1 has been shown as a clinically valuable biomarker for the management of hematological malignancies. However, TK1 activity assays may underestimate serum TK1 in subjects with solid tumors limiting its sensitivity. The development of TK1 immunoassays has made the assay of TK1 more widely available and increased its applicability to solid tumor diseases. This paper will review TK1 as a tumor biomarker with emphasis on recent studies and technologies plus highlight its potential in drug discovery and as a therapeutic target.


anti-TK1 antibodies; biomarker; breast cancer; cell culture; complementary biomarker; Hodgkin; leukemia; lymphoma; proliferation; prostate cancer; solid tumors; TK1; TK 210 ELISA; translational biomarker

Published in

Biomarkers in Medicine
2018, volume: 12, number: 9, pages: 1035-1048

Authors' information

Shaw, Martin
AroCell AB

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and well-being

UKÄ Subject classification

Medical Bioscience

Publication Identifiers


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