Midkine: an effective biomarker for managing cancer

Midkine (MK) is a novel diagnostic biomarker with the potential to improve the way cancer is managed at all phases of the disease. Studies by both Cellmid and independent research groups show that MK testing can improve early detection, staging and prognosis of cancer, as well as sensitively monitor disease recurrence after treatment. Midkine is a compelling cancer marker for the following reasons:

  • Secreted protein present in circulating blood and urine
  • Elevated blood midkine is often apparent very early in disease formation
  • Marker of a wide range of cancers, particularly carcinomas
  • Blood midkine levels correlate with disease stage and prognosis

Circulating midkine has been demonstrated as a diagnostically useful marker both alone and in combination with other cancer biomarkers in the following cancers:

Breast (1, 2)








Bile duct


Esophageal (1, 3

Cellmid holds granted patents worldwide, including in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and China, for the use of midkine for cancer diagnosis and monitoring. Opportunities to license midkine for cancer detection and monitoring are available on an indication-restricted basis. In October 2009 Cellmid licensed midkine to Celera Corporation for inclusion in Celera’s lung cancer diagnostic assay (currently under development).

Cellmid has also developed the only fully validated ELISA kit for accurately quantifying MK in patient sera. This ELISA kit can be bought by researchers via Cellmid directly.

To learn more about licensing midkine for cancer diagnosis, please contact Cellmid here.