Seven-signal proteomic signature for detection of operable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and their discrimination from autoimmune pancreatitis

Int J Proteomics. 2012;2012:510397. doi: 10.1155/2012/510397. Epub 2012 May 14.


There is urgent need for biomarkers that provide early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) as well as discrimination of autoimmune pancreatitis, as current clinical approaches are not suitably accurate for precise diagnosis. We used mass spectrometry to analyze protein profiles of more than 300 plasma specimens obtained from PDAC, noncancerous pancreatic diseases including autoimmune pancreatitis patients and healthy subjects. We obtained 1063 proteomic signals from 160 plasma samples in the training cohort. A proteomic signature consisting of 7 mass spectrometry signals was used for construction of a proteomic model for detection of PDAC patients. Using the test cohort, we confirmed that this proteomic model had discrimination power equal to that observed with the training cohort. The overall sensitivity and specificity for detection of cancer patients were 82.6% and 90.9%, respectively. Notably, 62.5% of the stage I and II cases were detected by our proteomic model. We also found that 100% of autoimmune pancreatitis patients were correctly assigned as noncancerous individuals. In the present paper, we developed a proteomic model that was shown able to detect early-stage PDAC patients. In addition, our model appeared capable of discriminating patients with autoimmune pancreatitis from those with PDAC.