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Blood Proteins Upregulated in Pancreatic Cancer Identified

The proteins may be useful for early detection

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Proteins present at high levels in the blood of a mouse model of pancreatic cancer at various stages are also upregulated in human patients with pancreatic cancer and could be useful for early detection, researchers report in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

Vitor M. Faca, from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues performed a proteomic analysis of plasma from a well-characterized mouse model of pancreatic cancer at various stages of tumor development. The relevance of the identified proteins was then examined in samples from human patients.

The researchers initially identified 1,442 proteins whose levels were altered compared with control mice. A subset of 12 upregulated proteins was also upregulated in blood from 30 patients with pancreatic cancer compared with controls who were healthy or had chronic pancreatitis. A subset of five proteins upregulated during early tumor development was also upregulated in 26 patients with pancreatic cancer who had blood samples available seven to 13 months before symptoms appeared and cancer was diagnosed.

"Our findings indicate that genetically engineered mouse models of cancer, in combination with in-depth proteomic analysis, provide a useful strategy to identify candidate markers applicable to human cancer with potential utility for early detection," Faca and colleagues conclude.

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