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Pyruvate Kinase (PK) is an Enzyme (protein catalyst) that plays a significant role in the metabolic process by which cells generate the energy they need to function. An unusual form of PK, termed “Tumour Marker 2 Pyruvate Kinase” or TM2-PK, is over-produced by a wide range of different tumours. This variant form enables the tumour to use a metabolic shortcut to “save energy” for additional replication of its cancerous cells. As such, TM2-PK can serve as a marker for the presence of metabolically active Cancer Cells. Both high and low levels of the marker are associated with excessive energy production by tumour cells. Elevated levels are associated with the presence of a primary tumour, while very low levels reflect Cancer Cells’ use of the body’s fat or protein stores as an energy source, a process that can severely damaged general Metabolism.


Pyruvate Kinase (PK) or pyruvic acid kinase is an Enzyme which catalyses the transfer of a phosphate group from phosphoenolpyruvic acid to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) with the formation of an ‘energy’ molecule - adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This reaction is very important in the glycolytic pathway. This Enzyme has an absolute requirement for magnesium and is inhibited by calcium. Whilst the conventional form of pyruvate kinase is a tetrameric molecule a, dimeric isoform of PK is over produced by a wide range of different tumours. This appears to be linked to the different metabolic requirements shown by tumour cells, which leads to these cells using a metabolic shortcut to ‘save energy’ for cell multiplication. In this process the proportion of pyruvate kinase present as the dimer form is increased. Therefore, the level of the dimer, namely TM2-PK, is significantly increased in tumour cells. In some cases however, the slightly increased TM2-PK level could be associated with the presence of impaired glucose utilization which may not be Cancer Cells. This assay is able to assist in the evaluation of any pool of metabolically active Cancer Cells that are characterised by an increased spontaneous mutation rate.

High levels are associated with the presence of a primary tumour with increased metastatic potential and genes mutations. Very low levels indicate the use of fat, or protein, by Abnormal Cells for energy production and this may cause severe damage to the general Metabolism.


This assay will provide extremely valuable and accurate information relating to all forms of cancer.
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