Jul 152017

A pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
Credit: The lab of Ken Zaret, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Combined blood markers correctly detect early pancreatic cancer in human cancer cells

A newly identified biomarker panel could pave the way to earlier detection and better treatment for pancreatic cancer, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania. Currently over 53,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — the fourth leading cause of cancer death — every year. The blood biomarkers, detailed today in Science Translational Medicine, correctly detected pancreatic cancer in blood samples from patients at different stages of their disease.

The majority of pancreatic cancer patients are not diagnosed until an advanced stage, beyond the point at which their tumors can be surgically removed.

A team led by Ken Zaret, PhD, director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Joseph Leidy Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Gloria Petersen, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic, identified a pair of biomarkers that physicians could soon use to discover the disease earlier.

“Starting with our cell model that mimics human pancreatic cancer progression, we identified released proteins, then tested and validated a subset of these proteins as potential plasma biomarkers of this cancer,” Zaret said. The authors anticipate that health care providers will use the early-detection biomarkers to test for their presence and levels in blood from pancreatic cancer patients and blood drawn from individuals with a high risk of developing pancreatic cancer, including those who have a first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer, are genetically predisposed to the disease, or who had a sudden onset of diabetes after the age of 50.

“Early detection of cancer has had a critical influence on lessening the impact of many types of cancer, including breast, colon, and cervical cancer. A long standing concern has been that patients with pancreatic cancer are often not diagnosed until it is too late for the best chance at effective treatment,” said Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, director of the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at the University of Pennsylvania. “Having a biomarker test for this disease could dramatically alter the outlook for these patients.”

Novel method for discovering pancreatic cancer biomarkers

Credit: The lab of Ken Zaret, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

The biomarker panel, enabled by discovery work of first author Jungsun Kim, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Zaret’s lab, builds on a first-of-its-kind human-cell model of pancreatic cancer progression the lab described in 2013. They used stem-cell technology to create a cell line from a patient with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Genetically reprogramming late-stage human cancer cells to a stem-cell state enabled them to force the reprogrammed cells to progress to an early cancerous state, revealing secreted blood biomarkers of early-stage disease along the way.

The best candidate biomarker, plasma thrombospondin-2 (THBS2), was screened against 746 cancer and control plasma samples using an inexpensive, commercially available protein-detection assay. The team found that blood levels of THBS2, combined with levels of a known later-stage biomarker called CA19-9, was reliable at detecting the presence of pancreatic cancer in patients.

The team refined the assay with independent investigations of plasma samples from patients with different stages of cancer, from individuals with benign pancreatic disease, and from healthy controls, all obtained from Petersen, who directs the biospecimen resource program for pancreas research at the Mayo Clinic.

“Positive results for THBS2 or CA19-9 concentrations in the blood consistently and correctly identified all stages of the cancer,” Zaret said. “Notably, THBS2 concentrations combined with CA19-9 identified early stages better than any other known method.” The combination panel also improved the ability to distinguish cases of cancer from pancreatitis. The panel will next be validated in a set of samples from pancreatic cancer patients who provided a research blood sample prior to their diagnosis.

Learn more: Blood Test for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Headed to Clinic


The Latest on: Pancreatic cancer
  • Morris County Freeholders proclaim November Pancreatic Cancer Month
    on November 20, 2017 at 2:05 am

    MORRISTOWN - The Morris County Freeholders have proclaimed November as World Pancreatic Cancer Month in Morris County to help call attention to this hard-to-diagnose, quick moving and very deadly disease that will take more than 1,300 lives in New Jersey ... […]

  • A ray of hope for pancreatic cancer
    on November 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Researchers have offered a ray of hope to those with one of our deadliest cancers. Fewer than one in 12 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will be alive five years later. The insidious and aggressive disease has defied attempts to improve its survival ... […]

  • Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Rich Valdes Urges Awareness
    on November 18, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Pancreatic cancer survivor Rich Valdes and his wife Sarah share their story with Bay Sunday host Kenny Choi and urge people to seek treatment. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. […]

  • Monroe woman makes quilts for pancreatic cancer patients in her community
    on November 18, 2017 at 9:31 am

    MONROE, Wis. - A Monroe woman who has been raising awareness for pancreatic cancer for almost 10 years is now making purple quilts with friends for people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jo Hawthorne, 73, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nine ... […]

  • Dr. Becerra on Emerging Treatments in Pancreatic Cancer
    on November 17, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Carlos Becerra, MD, physician, Texas Oncology, discusses emerging treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading cancer-related deaths, states Beccera. There are currently no good treatment options, although ... […]

  • Young Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Has High Hopes
    on November 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Pancreatic cancer survivor Catherine Dimino is hoping for a particularly special Thanksgiving this year – one spent with family, eating turkey and other holiday favorite foods. The day before Thanksgiving she is scheduled to have her last chemotherapy ... […]

  • Ask a Doc: What should I know about pancreatic cancer?
    on November 16, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Q: I’ve heard that pancreatic cancer is extremely deadly. What are the warning signs and treatment options? Dr. John Brems, a liver and pancreatic cancer surgeon at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., explains: November is Pancreatic Cancer ... […]

  • Yankees' David Robertson on the devastating toll of pancreatic cancer
    on November 16, 2017 at 2:00 am

    David Robertson with his wife, Erin, and her father Rick Cronin, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2016. Pancreatic cancer is the world's toughest cancer to treat, with a five-year survival rate of just 9 percent in the United States. It kills more people ... […]

  • Pancreatic cancer is often deadly. But recent discoveries are starting to unravel its mysteries — and raise hope
    on November 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

    ancreatic cancer is deadly: It’s difficult to detect and bedeviling to treat. Just 20 percent of patients survive a year after diagnosis. Less than 10 percent make it to the five-year mark. But recent discoveries — both in the lab and in patients ... […]

  • WNY lights up purple for pancreatic cancer
    on November 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

    CLARENCE CENTER, N.Y. (WKBW) - November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and on World Pancreatic Cancer Day (November 16), Western New York will shine purple. Seven locations, including Buffalo City Hall, Peace Bridge, and Niagara Falls will all be ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Other Interesting Posts

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: