Digestive Disease Week
Digestive Disease Week
May 24, 2019
2 min watch

VIDEO: Novel DNA markers accurately detect pancreatic cancer across all stages

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SAN DIEGO — In this video from Digestive Disease Week, Shounak Majumder, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, discusses the results of a study that assessed the accuracy of a blood-based test for detecting pancreatic cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease,” Majumder told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “It is one of the leading cancer killers in this country and we know that detection can improve outcomes. However, currently there is no effective test to detect this disease early.”

Majumder reported that CA19-9, a blood-based biomarker currently used to diagnose pancreatic cancer, is often unreliable in early stages and can come back normal in patients with advanced disease.

To better detect pancreatic cancer, Majumder and colleagues conducted a tissue discovery study to identify methylated DNA biomarkers that could be used in this disease.

Study results demonstrated that the panel of DNA methylated biomarkers detected pancreatic cancer across all stages with a sensitivity and specificity rate of 92%.

“We hope to use these markers in multiple different clinical applications in the future,” he said. “They have to be put through prospective studies to validate the findings that we are seeing in these early studies, but potential clinical applications include screening of patients at high-risk for pancreatic cancer and also for treatment monitoring and as an adjunct to CA19-9 in the diagnosis of this disease.” – by Ryan McDonald


Majumder S, et al. Mo1370. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week 2019; May 18-21; San Diego, California.

Disclosure: Majumder reports no relevant financial disclosures. The study was conducted in collaboration with Exact Sciences.