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A Tumor Marker Ca 19-9 In Diabetics Can Lead To Misdiagnosis Of Pancreatic Cancer, Study Suggests

Date:
October 16, 2007
Source:
World Journal of Gastroenterology
Summary:
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer which is increasing worldwide. A research group from Turkey has found that the use of a tumor marker, Ca 19-9, in diabetics with a standard reference value can lead to misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
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Diabetes is increasing all over the world along with the increase of obesity and associated diseases and is a well-known risk factor for pancreatic cancer. The incidence of pancreatic cancer is also increasing and has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers.

CA 19-9 is a tumor-associated antigen which is elevated in pancreatic cancers, cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract, ovarian cancer, hepatocellular cancer, colorectal cancer, inflammatory conditions of the hepatobiliary system, and in thyroid diseases.

CA 19-9 is used in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer but is also a marker of pancreatic tissue damage which might be caused by diabetes. The association between diabetes, pancreatic cancer and elevated levels of Ca 19-9 has not been investigated until now.

A research article published in October 28 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this association. The research group led by Dr Oya Uygur-Bayramicli from Istanbul examined 76 type 2 diabetics and matched them with control subjects of the same age and gender in order to get reliable comparisons. Ca 19-9 levels were statistically significantly higher in the diabetic group but there was not any case of pancreatic cancer in that group, which was confirmed with the help of abdominal CT.

One conclusion reported by the researchers is that diabetes can be accepted as the last step of chronic pancreatitis with the new developing concepts of pathogenesis and that the elevation of Ca 19-9 is due to chronic pancreatitis and not to pancreatic cancer.

As a solution to the problem they suggest using higher cut-off values of Ca 19-9 in diabetic patients to differentiate benign and malignant pancreatic disease. Furthermore, subtle elevations of CA 19-9 in diabetics should be considered an indication of exocrine pancreatic dysfunction.

The study was performed in a large teaching hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, with a special interest in diabetes and gastrointestinal oncology and is therefore quite representative of the population.

Reference: Uygur-Bayramicli O, Dabak R, Orbay E, Dolapcioglu C, Sargin M, Kilicoglu G, Guleryuzlu Y, Mayadagli A.Type 2 diabetes mellitus and CA 19-9 levels. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(40): 5357-5359


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The above story is based on materials provided by World Journal of Gastroenterology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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World Journal of Gastroenterology. "A Tumor Marker Ca 19-9 In Diabetics Can Lead To Misdiagnosis Of Pancreatic Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071015093537.htm>.
World Journal of Gastroenterology. (2007, October 16). A Tumor Marker Ca 19-9 In Diabetics Can Lead To Misdiagnosis Of Pancreatic Cancer, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071015093537.htm
World Journal of Gastroenterology. "A Tumor Marker Ca 19-9 In Diabetics Can Lead To Misdiagnosis Of Pancreatic Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071015093537.htm (accessed May 29, 2015).

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