ICARE Newsletter Winter 2019

Advances in Biomarkers to Detect Pancreatic Cancer Early

Early detection of pancreatic cancer is tremendously important, given that most patients who develop the disease are diagnosed at a later stage of the disease when it is usually incurable. Although screening through imaging studies has been proposed (i.e., magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and/or endoscopic ultrasound),1 data to support this type of screening as an evidence-based recommendation continues to be collected. Consequently, there has been longstanding interest in developing blood tests for early detection of pancreatic cancer. One such effort is represented in a recent study in which a metabolite panel in combination with CA19-9, TIMP1, and LRG1 were shown to be of potential use in the early detection of pancreatic cancer compared to a protein panel alone.2 These types of efforts are hoped to culminate in the development of a blood test that is reliable in detecting pancreatic cancer early, at a stage when it may be curable.

1Canto MI, et al. Gut. 2012 Nov. PMID: 23135763.
2Fahrmann JF, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Aug 18. PMID: 30137376.