Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MicroRNAs Circulating In Blood Show Promise As Biomarkers To Detect Pancreatic Cancer

Date:
September 8, 2009
Source:
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
A blood test for small molecules abnormally expressed in pancreatic cancer may be a promising route to early detection of the disease, researchers report.

A blood test for small molecules abnormally expressed in pancreatic cancer may be a promising route to early detection of the disease, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in the September edition of the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Related Articles


The team's analysis of four microRNAs (miRNA) found in the blood plasma of pancreatic cancer patients is proof of principle to further develop a blood test for this evasive disease, said senior author Subrata Sen, Ph.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Molecular Pathology.

"Increased expression of microRNAs is known to be involved with specific genetic pathways and processes responsible for the development of cancer-associated changes in cells," Sen said. "Detection of elevated levels of miRNAs in blood plasma of pancreatic cancer patients as informative biomarkers of disease appears to be a promising, novel approach for developing a minimally invasive assay for detecting this disease."

There is no accurate, noninvasive way to detect pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Fewer than 5 percent of patients survive to five years.

MicroRNAs are single-stranded bits of RNA consisting of 18 to 24 nucleotides that regulate the messenger RNA (mRNA) expressed by genes to tell a cell's protein-making machinery what protein to make.

The four targeted microRNAs previously had been associated in varied ways with pancreatic cancer or with precancerous lesions. Expression of the four was analyzed in 28 patients with pancreatic cancer and 19 healthy people.

The four combined markers accurately identified 64 percent (sensitivity) of the pancreatic cancer cases and correctly identified 89 percent of those without disease (specificity). That degree of sensitivity and specificity are good for a pilot study but don't yet rise to the levels required for translation in the clinic, which would require investigating more circulating microRNAs in blood in a larger sample of persons representing different stages of the disease and healthy controls.

The study's small sample size, which compared only the extremes of pancreatic cancer or the complete absence of the disease, is a limitation, but the results justify continued development of this strategy, Sen said.

One of the miRNAs in the study is overexpressed in precursor lesions that can lead to full pancreatic cancer. "The fact that a microRNA reported to be overexpressed in pre-invasive pancreatic cancer could be detected in blood plasma from pancreatic cancer patients raises the possibility that a blood test for detecting pre-invasive pancreatic cancer may become a reality," Sen said.

Marker miRNAs used in the study were miR-21, miR-210, miR-155 and miR-196a.

Sen and colleagues are working with the Early Detection Research Network of the National Cancer Institute to develop studies with larger sample sizes that are designed to test miRNA markers associated with different grades and stages of the disease.

The project was funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Co-authors with Sen are first author Jin Wang, Ph.D., and Aimee LeBlanc, BS, also of Molecular Pathology; Jinyun Chen, Ph.D. and Marsha Frazier, Ph.D., of M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology; Ping Chang, Donghui Li, Ph.D., and James Abbruzzese, M.D., all of the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology; and Ann Killary, Ph.D., of the Department of Genetics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "MicroRNAs Circulating In Blood Show Promise As Biomarkers To Detect Pancreatic Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904103338.htm>.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2009, September 8). MicroRNAs Circulating In Blood Show Promise As Biomarkers To Detect Pancreatic Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904103338.htm
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "MicroRNAs Circulating In Blood Show Promise As Biomarkers To Detect Pancreatic Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904103338.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins