Human alpha-lactalbumin: measurement in serum and in breast cancer organ cultures by radioimmunoassay

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Science  17 Oct 1975:
Vol. 190, Issue 4211, pp. 276-278
DOI: 10.1126/science.1179206


A sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay for human alpha-lactalbumin, a major milk protein, is described. Some normal men and women have detectable levels of alpha-lactalbumin in their blood. High values are found in nursing mothers and many patients with galactorrhea. Alpha-Lactalbumin is found in some breast cancer organ cultures. In addition, alpha-lactalbumin output was stimulated by ovine prolactin in 2 of the 19 tumors studied.