Objectives: Serum biomarkers for early diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma are not currently available. We recently observed elevated expression of CEACAM1 in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and sought to determine whether serum CEACAM1 levels were elevated in pancreatic cancer patients.
Methods: CEACAM1 messenger RNA levels were measured in pancreatic tissue samples using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. CEACAM1 was localized by immunohistochemistry in adenocarcinomas and in pancreatic intraductal neoplasia lesions. CEACAM1 serum levels were assessed by a double determinant enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and compared with serum levels of CA19-9.
Results: CEACAM1 had higher expression levels in pancreatic adenocarcinomas compared with noncancerous pancreas (P < 0.0001) and was localized to neoplastic cells (95% (45/47) of adenocarcinomas and 85% (17/20) of pancreatic intraductal neoplasia 3 lesions. CEACAM1 was expressed in the sera of 91% (74/81) of pancreatic cancer patients, 24% (15/61) of normal patients, and 66% (35/53) of patients with chronic pancreatitis, with a sensitivity and specificity superior to CA19-9. The combination of CEACAM1 and CA19-9 had significantly higher diagnostic accuracy than CA19-9.
Conclusions: CEACAM1 is expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and serum levels of CEACAM1 serve as a useful indicator for the presence of pancreatic cancer. Additional validation studies on the use of serum CEACAM1 as a diagnostic marker in pancreatic cancer are warranted.