Elevated amylase in plasma represents an adverse prognostic marker in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer : A retrospective analysis

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2018 Oct;130(19-20):569-574. doi: 10.1007/s00508-018-1383-3. Epub 2018 Aug 21.


Background and aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic relevance of plasma amylase and lipase concerning survival of patients suffering from metastatic pancreatic cancer (PC).

Method: This retrospective study included 351 patients with metastatic PC, who were treated in a single academic institution. Cancer-specific survival (CSS) was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method. To further evaluate the prognostic significance of lipase and amylase, univariate and multivariate values were calculated using Cox proportional models.

Results: In univariate analysis, an increased amylase level was associated with shorter CSS in PC patients (hazard ratio HR = 1.258; 95% confidence interval CI = 1.011-1.566; p = 0.039). In multivariate analysis, including gender, age, CA19-9 and administration of chemotherapy, increased amylase levels prevailed as an independent prognostic factor for CSS (HR = 1.373; 95%CI = 1.004-1.878; p = 0.047).

Conclusions: Plasma amylase was found to be an independent prognostic factor in patients with metastatic PC. The results indicate that amylase might represent a novel and useful marker for better patient stratification in PC management.

Keywords: Adenocarcinoma; CA19‑9; Lipase; Pancreas; Pancreatitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma* / enzymology
  • Aged
  • Amylases / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / enzymology
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Amylases