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Protein biomarkers may indicate early-stage pancreatic cancer.

Researchers have discovered a blood protein that reliably indicates early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to an article published in the Public Library of Science. Researchers believe that these results are a breakthrough in the application of proteomic technologies and mouse models to cancer biomarker discovery.

In the study, mice were genetically engineered to mimic the course of pancreatic cancer in humans. The researchers identified five proteins, LCN2, REG1A, REG3, TIMP1, and IGFBP4, which were consistently found in mice with precancerous growths called pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia but not in mice with fully developed cancer or healthy control mice.

The researchers validated the protein panel by testing it against blood samples from 13 people in a prevention study who developed pancreatic cancer within a year of donating the sample. The protein panel consistently identified samples from the patients who developed cancer. More research is needed to validate the biomarker panel's value in early detection among those at high risk for pancreatic cancer and to develop a diagnostic test.

Faca, V.M., Song, K.S., Wang, H., Zhang, Q., Krasnoselsky, A.L., Newcomb, L.F., et al. (2008). A mouse to human search for plasma proteome changes associated with pancreatic tumor development. PLoS Medicine, 5(6), 953-967.

Deborah McBride, RN, MSN, CPON[R], Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Deborah McBride, RN, MSN, CPON[R], is a nurse at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center and a faculty member at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, CA.

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Title Annotation:JUST IN
Author:McBride, Deborah
Publication:ONS Connect
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2008
Words:240
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