Introduction. Pancreatic cancer has the worst prognosis among gastrointestinal cancers. The high mortality is justified by the paucity of symptoms and by the lack of response to treatment. The lack of sensitive tumor markers specific to early diagnosis has a major contribution to the poor prognosis.
The objective of the study was to evaluate whether tumor markers like mesothelin, circulating tumor cells, microRNA, can be used as early diagnosis and prognostic factors in pancreatic cancer. Secondary endpoints aimed to test these markers in chronic pancreatitis in order to create a panel of markers for high-risk population screening.
Material and methods. We measured the concentration of 3 markers (mesothelin, miR-10b and miR-155) using blood samples from the three groups: neoplasm, pancreatitis and control group (healthy) and tried to identify statistically significant correlations between them.
Results. Pancreatic cancer can be diagnosed using blood biomarkers such as mesothelin and certain types of miR with pancreatic neoplasia and chronic pancreatitis compared to healthy patients. Mesothelin could be used for differentiation between neoplasm patients and chronic pancreatitis (p=0.05). There was a direct correlation between tumor size and miR-10b (p=0.05), but none between mesothelin and miR-10b (p=0.53).
Conclusions. A better understanding of the principles and complex mechanisms of genes expression associated to miRNA may lead to new therapy and diagnosis opportunities for the pancreatic cancer and may become the premises of a screening strategy for the patient with high risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Keywords: pancreatic cancer, chronic pancreatitis, mesothelin, miR-10b, miR-155.
Clinical Emergency Hospital of Bucharest, 8 Calea Floreasca, Bucharest, Romania