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Biomarkers in Diagnosis of Pancreatic Carcinoma in Fine-Needle Aspirates
A Translational Research Application

Nirag Jhala MD, MIAC, Darshana Jhala MD, Selwyn M. Vickers MD, Isam Eltoum MD, MBA, Surinder K. Batra PhD, Upender Manne PhD, Mohamad Eloubeidi MD, MHS, Jennifer J. Jones, William E. Grizzle MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/CEV30BE088CBDQD9 572-579 First published online: 1 October 2006


This study was undertaken to determine whether recently identified proteins could be translated to clinical practice as markers to distinguish pancreatic adenocarcinoma from chronic pancreatitis on fine-needle aspirate (FNA) samples. Resected pancreatic tissue sections (n = 40) and FNA samples (n = 65) were stained for clusterin-β, MUC4, survivin, and mesothelin. For each biomarker, the staining patterns in adenocarcinoma and in reactive ductal epithelium were evaluated and compared. Clusterin-β stained reactive ductal epithelium significantly more frequently than pancreatic adenocarcinoma (P < .001). In comparison, MUC4 and mesothelin were expressed more frequently in pancreatic adenocarcinoma on tissue sections. Positive staining for MUC4 (91% vs 0%; P < .001) and mesothelin (62% vs 0%; P = .01) and absence of staining for clusterin-β (90% vs 7%; P < .001) were noted significantly more frequently in adenocarcinoma cells than in reactive cells in FNA samples. Clusterin-β and MUC4 can help distinguish reactive ductal epithelial cells from the cells of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in FNA samples.

Key Words:
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Cytopathology
  • Cytology
  • Fine-needle aspiration
  • Biological markers
  • Pancreatic carcinoma
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Translational research