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Novel Antibody Identified in Autoimmune Pancreatitis

Because the antibody is also seen in pancreatic cancer, it cannot distinguish the two conditions

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although most patients with autoimmune pancreatitis have a novel antibody, so do some patients with pancreatic cancer, so testing for the antibody cannot differentiate between the two conditions, according to a study in the Nov. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Luca Frulloni, M.D., of the University of Verona in Italy, and colleagues studied 20 patients with autoimmune pancreatitis and 40 patients with pancreatic cancer.

The researchers identified antibodies against the plasminogen-binding protein of Helicobacter plylori peptide in 19 patients (95 percent) with autoimmune pancreatitis, and in four patients (10 percent) with pancreatic cancer. They also validated the results in another series of patients with autoimmune pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

"The mean age of the patients with autoimmune pancreatitis was lower than that of the patients with pancreatic cancer; however, we do not believe that this difference influenced the test," the authors write. "Indeed, the test was negative in other groups of patients with a mean age that was similar to that of the patients with autoimmune pancreatitis."

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