Biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic cancer

April 06, 2023 | Histopathology

A research team from the Duke University Medical Center came up with a biomarker-based clinical approach for the classification of pancreatic lesions with the highest risk of becoming cancerous. Early detection of whether cysts will develop into cancer enables preventive surgeries especially that pancreatic cancer is on the rise and can be notoriously stealthy before being discovered.

The researchers focused on precancerous cysts, also called as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). As most IPMNs don’t progress to pancreatic cancer, determining those that will progress will open an opportunity for preventing an incurable disease from developing. 

Using a digital spatial RNA profiling on a cyst, they concentrated on high- and low- grade areas of abnormal cell growth. This sophisticated technique was able to pin down a host of genetic mutations that led to both development and suppression of pancreatic cancer. Also, the team were able to identify distinguishing markers between high-grade cell abnormalities and slow-growing subtypes and recognized another distinctive marker for a third common variant that generally results in benign diseases.

Aside from IPMNs, they also focused on finding unique markers in the cyst fluid. This method could be the basis for protein biopsy which leads to the removal of the cyst before the cancer develops. 

Odoo text and image block

Pancreatic cancer has seen an increased prevalence over the years and the driving force is unknown. Peter Allen, M.D, the study’s senior author, stated that inflammation could play a role. He furthered the study and led a clinical trial at Duke to test whether an anti-inflammatory therapy could lessen the probability of cancer development in patients with IPMN.

Back To Top
We are fully compliant with the GDPR laws. We promise to safeguard your data and protect your privacy rights.