Novel immunoassay detected early stage pancreatic cancer

2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

A novel immunoassay that identifies and quantifies blood levels of the PAM4 protein may detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to study findings presented ahead of the 2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

PAM4 is a unique antigen present in almost 90% of pancreatic cancers and its precursor lesions, but not in normal pancreas cells and rarely in pancreatitis.

According to David V. Gold, PhD, director of laboratory administration with the Garden State Cancer Center in Belleville, N.J., only 2% to 3% of patients with pancreatic cancer survive five years after diagnosis as the disease is almost undetectable until it reaches the advanced stage.

“When detected early, the survival rate improves to 20%,” Gold said during a press conference. “The goal of our work is to provide an assay for detection and diagnosis of early stage disease, at a time when curative procedures have a better opportunity for successful outcome.”

The researchers used the PAM4-serum enzyme immunoassay for the detection and quantification of PAM4 in the serum of 68 patients who had surgical resection of pancreatic cancer and compared them with 19 healthy participants.

The assay detected early pancreatic cancer with a sensitivity of 62% for stage I disease, 86% for stage II disease, and 91% for stage III and IV disease.

As calculated by ROC curve analysis, the overall sensitivity for discrimination of all stages of pancreatic cancer compared with healthy participants was 81% and specificity was 95% (AUC=0.92; 95% CI, 0.84-0.97).

“Because of the very high specificity of the antibody for pancreatic cancer, if the PAM4 protein is detected, there is a high probability that the patient has pancreatic cancer,” Gold said. “Detection of the PAM4 protein means that the patient may be eligible for a novel therapy that uses radio-labeled antibodies to target and kill the tumor cells.” – by Jason Harris

For more information:

  • Gold DV. #135. Presented at: the 2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium; Jan. 22-24, 2010; Orlando, Fla.

PERSPECTIVE

All of us in the medical profession have long struggled with the treatment of pancreatic cancer; we’ve had very few things that have worked. This is very exciting data. If we had a test where we could detect disease earlier, we would obviously do better in the management of pancreatic cancer and prevent some of the many deaths that occur every year.

Robert P. Sticca, MD
Chairman, Department of Surgery, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

More Meeting Highlights>>


2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

A novel immunoassay that identifies and quantifies blood levels of the PAM4 protein may detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to study findings presented ahead of the 2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

PAM4 is a unique antigen present in almost 90% of pancreatic cancers and its precursor lesions, but not in normal pancreas cells and rarely in pancreatitis.

According to David V. Gold, PhD, director of laboratory administration with the Garden State Cancer Center in Belleville, N.J., only 2% to 3% of patients with pancreatic cancer survive five years after diagnosis as the disease is almost undetectable until it reaches the advanced stage.

“When detected early, the survival rate improves to 20%,” Gold said during a press conference. “The goal of our work is to provide an assay for detection and diagnosis of early stage disease, at a time when curative procedures have a better opportunity for successful outcome.”

The researchers used the PAM4-serum enzyme immunoassay for the detection and quantification of PAM4 in the serum of 68 patients who had surgical resection of pancreatic cancer and compared them with 19 healthy participants.

The assay detected early pancreatic cancer with a sensitivity of 62% for stage I disease, 86% for stage II disease, and 91% for stage III and IV disease.

As calculated by ROC curve analysis, the overall sensitivity for discrimination of all stages of pancreatic cancer compared with healthy participants was 81% and specificity was 95% (AUC=0.92; 95% CI, 0.84-0.97).

“Because of the very high specificity of the antibody for pancreatic cancer, if the PAM4 protein is detected, there is a high probability that the patient has pancreatic cancer,” Gold said. “Detection of the PAM4 protein means that the patient may be eligible for a novel therapy that uses radio-labeled antibodies to target and kill the tumor cells.” – by Jason Harris

For more information:

  • Gold DV. #135. Presented at: the 2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium; Jan. 22-24, 2010; Orlando, Fla.

PERSPECTIVE

All of us in the medical profession have long struggled with the treatment of pancreatic cancer; we’ve had very few things that have worked. This is very exciting data. If we had a test where we could detect disease earlier, we would obviously do better in the management of pancreatic cancer and prevent some of the many deaths that occur every year.

Robert P. Sticca, MD
Chairman, Department of Surgery, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

More Meeting Highlights>>