Serum Biomarker Panel for Diagnosis and Prognosis of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas

Front Oncol. 2021 Jul 5:11:708963. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.708963. eCollection 2021.


Background: Patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) have late diagnosis which results in poor prognosis. Currently, surgical resection is the only option for curative intent. Identifying high-risk features for patients with aggressive PDAC is essential for accurate diagnosis, prognostication, and personalised care due to the disease burden and risk of recurrence despite surgical resection. A panel of three biomarkers identified in tumour tissue (S100A4, Ca125 and Mesothelin) have shown an association with poor prognosis and overall survival. The diagnostic and prognostic value of the serum concentration of this particular biomarker panel for patients with PDAC has not been previously studied.

Methods: Retrospectively collected blood samples of PDAC patients (n =120) and healthy controls (n =80) were evaluated for the serum concentration of select biomarkers - S100A4, S100A2, Ca-125, Ca 19-9 and mesothelin. Statistical analyses were performed for diagnostic and prognostic correlation.

Results: A panel of four biomarkers (S100A2, S100A4, Ca-125 and Ca 19-9) achieved high diagnostic potential (AUROC 0.913). Three biomarkers (S100A4, Ca-125 and Ca 19-9) correlated with poor overall survival in a univariable model (p < 0.05). PDAC patients with abnormal levels of 2 or more biomarkers in their serum demonstrated significantly lower survival compared to patients with abnormal levels of one or less biomarker (p < 0.05).

Conclusion and impact: The identified biomarker panels have shown the potential to diagnose PDAC patients and stratify patients based on their prognostic outcomes. If independently validated, this may lead to the development of a diagnostic and prognosticating blood test for PDAC.

Keywords: Ca-125 and Ca 19-9; S100A4; diagnostic biomarkers; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; prognostic biomarkers; survival analysis.