Definition of Neuron-specific enolase (NSE)

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Neuron-specific enolase (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, pancreatic endocrine tumors, 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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