Pancreatic cancer often is diagnosed at a later stage of disease. Ideally, identification of a tumor marker or other early detection technique would reduce deaths from pancreatic cancer.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and University of Pennsylvania identified secreted proteins and tested a subset of these proteins to determine if they might be markers of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). In a phase I study, a phase 2a validation study, and a second phase 2b study (746 blood samples in total), concentrations of plasma thrombospondin-2 (THBS2) were able to discriminate resectable stage I cancer as readily as stage III and IV pancreatic tumors. THBS2 plasma concentrations combined with those for CA 19-9 increased the ability to distinguish PDAC from pancreatitis, and may improve the early detection of PDAC.
The study findings are available at here.