CAM 5.2

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Named after the first author of the original paper - surgeon Miss Carol A. Makin.[1]

IgG2a murine monoclonal antibody described in 1984[1] which binds to low molecular weight keratins and in particular keratin 8 (K8). There is some uncertainity as to the extent it binds to keratin 7 (K7) and other keratins in biological systems. Used in histopathology to identify secretory epithelial cells and for malignancy typing. Mesotheliomas generally stain more intensely than adenocarcinomas[2]. It is known that anaplastic B cell lymphoma[3], ependymomas[4] and up to 10% of melanomas[5] or sarcomas including synovial (synovial sarcomas, of course, being biphasic tumours with one an epithelioid component; the 'synovial' part of the name is a misnomer).[6] can have focal staining so specificity can be an issue.

The antibody is commercially available from Becton Dickinson and antigen is expressed by most carcinomas:


  1. a b Makin CA, Bobrow LG, Bodmer WF. Monoclonal antibody to cytokeratin for use in routine histopathology. Journal of clinical pathology. 1984 Sep; 37(9):975-83.
  2. Roberts F, Harper CM, Downie I, Burnett RA. Immunohistochemical analysis still has a limited role in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. A study of thirteen antibodies. American journal of clinical pathology. 2001 Aug; 116(2):253-62.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  3. Frierson HF, Bellafiore FJ, Gaffey MJ, McCary WS, Innes DJ, Williams ME. Cytokeratin in anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc. 1994 Apr; 7(3):317-21.
  4. Hussein SA, Sur M. Cytokeratin positivity in myxopapillary ependymoma - a potential diagnostic pitfall. Diagnostic pathology. 2008; 3:40.(Epub) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  5. Kim YC, Lee MG, Choe SW, Lee MC, Chung HG, Cho SH. Acral lentiginous melanoma: an immunohistochemical study of 20 cases. International journal of dermatology. 2003 Feb; 42(2):123-9.
  6. Leader M, Patel J, Makin C, Henry K. An analysis of the sensitivity and specificity of the cytokeratin marker CAM 5.2 for epithelial tumours. Results of a study of 203 sarcomas, 50 carcinomas and 28 malignant melanomas. Histopathology. 1986 Dec; 10(12):1315-24.
  7. Ramachandra S, Gillett CE, Millis RR. A comparative immunohistochemical study of mammary and extramammary Paget's disease and superficial spreading melanoma, with particular emphasis on melanocytic markers. Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology. 1996 Dec; 429(6):371-6.
  8. Requena L, Jaqueti G, Rütten A, Mentzel T, Kutzner H. Merkel cell carcinoma within follicular cysts: report of two cases. Journal of cutaneous pathology. 2008 Dec; 35(12):1127-33.
  9. Morgan MB, Purohit C, Anglin TR. Immunohistochemical distinction of cutaneous spindle cell carcinoma. The American Journal of dermatopathology. 2008 Jun; 30(3):228-32.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  10. Suster S, Moran CA, Dominguez-Malagon H, Quevedo-Blanco P. Germ cell tumors of the mediastinum and testis: a comparative immunohistochemical study of 120 cases. Human pathology. 1998 Jul; 29(7):737-42.
  11. Cheville JC, Rao S, Iczkowski KA, Lohse CM, Pankratz VS. Cytokeratin expression in seminoma of the human testis. American journal of clinical pathology. 2000 Apr; 113(4):583-8.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  12. Suster S, Moran CA. Micronodular thymoma with lymphoid B-cell hyperplasia: clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of eighteen cases of a distinctive morphologic variant of thymic epithelial neoplasm. The American journal of surgical pathology. 1999 Aug; 23(8):955-62.
  13. Liu Y, Sturgis CD, Bunker M, Saad RS, Tung M, Raab SS, Silverman JF. Expression of cytokeratin by malignant meningiomas: diagnostic pitfall of cytokeratin to separate malignant meningiomas from metastatic carcinoma. Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc. 2004 Sep; 17(9):1129-33.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)