What is AMAS?
Anti-malignin antibody in serum (AMAS) is a test offered by only one laboratory in the USA. While it is described by its manufacturer as useful in early diagnosis for those at high risk for cancer and in monitoring cancer progression, there is little published evidence from independent sources to support this claim. Despite more than 20 years of availability, the test has not earned the confidence of most in the medical community given the lack of data regarding its clinical utility.
The AMAS test is not specific to one particular type of cancer, which brings into question the test's impact on patient health outcomes. In other words, it is unclear how the test's results can be used to advance a diagnosis or develop a treatment plan for a patient.
The AMAS test, if used, should never be used alone to diagnose cancer nor to screen people for cancer. The available evidence indicates that a negative AMAS test should never be interpreted as an "all-clear" message if there is any other reason to suspect the possibility of cancer.
Elsewhere on the Web
Cancer Research UK: AMAS or AMA (Anti-Malignan Antibody) blood test for cancer
Dr. Weil: Is AMAS a Worthwhile Cancer Test?
Friedlander, E: Anti-Malignin Antibdy – A Screening Test for Cancer?
Some studies authored or co-authored by the developer of the test:
(1982) Bogoch S, Bogoch ES, Fager CA et al. Determination of anti-malignin antibody and malignin in 1,026 cancer patients and controls: relation of antibody to survival. J Med 1982;13:49-69.
(1994) Abrams MB et al. Early detection and monitoring of cancer with the anti-malignin antibody test. Cancer Detect Prev. 1994;18(1):65-78. Available online at http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/eardetmonwit.html through http://www.annieappleseedproject.org. Accessed February 2012.
There are no published studies within the last five years (Pubmed search). Some of the most recent independent studies include:
(2000) Thornthwaite JT. Anti-malignin antibody in serum and other tumor marker determinations in breast cancer. Cancer Lett. 2000 Jan 1;148(1):39-48. Available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10680591. Accessed February 2012.
*(2005) Harman SM et al. Discrimination of Breast Cancer by Anti-malignin Antibody Serum Test in Women Undergoing Biopsy. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Oct;14(10):2310-5. Available online at http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/14/10/2310.long through http://cebp.aacrjournals.org. Accessed February 2012.
*Footnote to this published article: The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked advertisement in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.