Medical Definition of Test, NSE

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Test, NSE: Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is a substance that has been detected in patients with certain tumors, namely: neuroblastoma, small cell lung cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, carcinoid tumors, endocrine tumors of the pancreas, and melanoma.

Studies of NSE as a tumor marker have concentrated primarily on patients with neuroblastoma and small cell lung cancer. Measurement of NSE levels in patients with these two diseases can provide information about the extent of the disease and the patient's prognosis (outlook), as well as about the patient's response to treatment.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018