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The usefulness of lactate dehydrogenase measurements in current oncological practice.

One of the hallmarks of cancer cells is increased energy requirements associated with the higher rate of cellular proliferative activity. Metabolic changes in rapidly dividing cancer cells are closely associated with increased uptake of glucose and abnormal activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which regulates the processing of glucose to lactic acid. As serum LDH levels were found to be commonly increased in cancer patients and correlated with poor clinical outcome and resistance to therapy, the determination of LDH has become a standard supportive tool in diagnosing cancers or monitoring the effects of cancer treatment. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about methods and the practical utility for measuring both the total LDH and LDH isoenzymatic activities in the diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of cancer diseases.

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