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The test measures the activity of an enzyme α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (nagalase) in blood.
Nagalase is an extracellular matrix-degrading enzyme that is secreted by cancerous cells in the process of tumor invasion. It is also an intrinsic component of the envelope protein of various virions, such as HIV and the influenza virus. Thus, it is also secreted from virus-infected cells1,3,4.