Serum biomarkers for improved diagnostic of pancreatic cancer: A current overview

74 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Complete resection constitutes the only curative approach in pancreatic cancer but is possible only in a minority of patients due to advanced stages upon diagnosis. Consequently, early detection is crucial for curative treatment. Clinical routine still lacks efficient, non-invasive screening assays, and 80-90% of pancreatic carcinomas are detected at unresectable stages. A wide range of serum proteins have been in the focus of intensive search for biomarkers specific for pancreatic cancer. This article will give an overview on serum biomarkers with screening potential for pancreatic malignancy. Design and methods: PUBMED database was searched for articles, and 43 manuscripts were selected that provided data regarding biomarkers used, type of assay, study population, sample cohort quality and diagnostic performance. Results: Superior values for diagnostic performance were shown for MIC-1, PAM4, OPN, HSP27, TPS, TSGF, and CAM17.1 as individual markers. Panels of biomarkers comprised CA 19-9, MCSF, CEA, SAA, Haptoglobin, TSGF, CA 242, and HSP27. Individually or in concerted form, sensitivity and specificity ranged from 77 to 100% and 84-100%, respectively. Conclusions: While the above named markers show high screening potential for pancreatic cancer, standardized validation studies using multiplex assays are required to pave the way for clinical routine application.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)375-389
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2011


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