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Stem cell factor receptor (SCF R)/C-KIT is an Antigen and is an extremely complex protein. Under normal circumstances only a few bone marrow cells display SCF R/C-KIT. However when lung, breast or gastrointestinal tumours are present the SCF R/C-KIT level will usually be significantly higher and the substance can be shed from the surface of the cells to re-appear in soluble form in the blood to form SCF Soluble Receptor/C-KIT, known as SCF SR/C-KIT.

SCF SR/C-KIT has one principle function, which is to help in the fight against tumour development. High levels of SCF SR is a positive sign as it is naturally fighting against any tumour development and therefore suppressive treatment is not advantageous. Conversely low levels indicate that there are problems relating to the development of cells from the bone marrow.


SCF R/C-KIT, i.e. the CD 117 Antigen, is a very complex transmembrane protein product of the c-kit proto-Oncogene. It is expressed mainly on the hematopoietic Progenitor Cells in the bone marrow and also on the Mast Cells. The interaction of this receptor, with its ligand, induces signal transduction cascades which include activation of a number of genes followed by the development of various Hematopoietic Cells that exist in the blood from their progenitors in the bone marrow. Normally, only a few bone marrow cells or other types of cells (i.e. melanocytes, glial, epithelial cells, etc.) express the SCF R/C-KIT. However, in several types of tumour (lung, breast, gastrointestinal system, etc.) the SCF R/C-KIT could be expressed on a large number of cells. This indicates the involvement of this receptor in the development of a tumour. SCF R/C-KIT can be shed from the cell surface and appears in the blood in soluble form. The soluble receptor is an Antagonistic to the transmembrane receptor located on the cell surface because SCF SR in the blood binds the ligand quicker than SCF R on the cell surface and this prevents the induction of signals by the ligand in the cells that is associated with tumour development. In addition to this natural therapeutical action, SCF SR is also able to mobilise hematopoietic Stem Cells from the bone marrow which is a vital step in the natural anti-tumour response. This assay is designed to evaluate the presence of one of the cancer growth promoting receptors which, in soluble form, has anti-cancer effects.

High levels of SCF SR are associated with natural anti-tumour activities and a treatment to suppress / inhibit SCF R is not recommended. Low levels are associated with a problem relating to the development of various Hematopoietic Cells from their progenitors in the bone marrow.


This assay will provide extremely valuable and accurate information relating to the following pathological conditions :-

- Cancer, anaemia and immuno-deficiency diseases.
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