JOP. J Pancreas (Online) 2011 Mar 9; 12(2):83-85.

Early Detection and Screening of Pancreatic Cancer
Highlights from the "2011 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium". San Francisco, CA, USA. January 20-22, 2011

Tamas A Gonda1, Muhammad Wasif Saif2

1Division of Digestive and Liver Disease, 2Division of Hematology and Oncology; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center. New York, NY, USA


Pancreatic cancer presents at an advanced stage in majority of the patients, hence resulting in a very dismal prognosis. Novel and effective methods to detect and screen pancreatic cancer and its precursors are warranted. The U.S. Multi-Society Task Force recommends against routine screening for pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic adults using abdominal palpation, ultrasonography, or serologic markers. Moreover, the screening for persons with hereditary predisposition to develop pancreatic cancer has not been validated. Herein, the authors summarize the data presented at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in detecting early stage pancreatic cancer (Abstracts #187 and #193).

Full text: HTML format  PDF format


  1. Raimondi S, Maisonneuve P, Lowenfels AB. Epidemiology of pancreatic cancer: an overview. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. Dec 2009;6(12):699-708. [More details]

  2. Maisonneuve P, Lowenfels AB. Epidemiology of pancreatic cancer: an update. Dig Dis 2010; 28:645-56. [More details]

  3. Strimpakos AS, Syrigos KN, Saif MW. The molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Gut Liver 2010; 4:433-49. [More details]

  4. Larghi A, Verna EC, Lecca PG, Costamagna G. Screening for pancreatic cancer in high-risk individuals: a call for endoscopic ultrasound. Clin Cancer Res 2009; 15:1907-14. [More details]

  5. Nagasaka T, Goel A, TaniguchiN, Mori Y, Sigeyasu K, Yamada E, et al. Power of fecal DNA methylation analysis: Does it lead to development of a noninvasive screening tool for pancreatic cancer? J Clin Oncol 2011; 29(Suppl. 4):Abstract 187. [More details]

  6. Ahlquist DA. Molecular stool screening for colorectal cancer. Using DNA markers may be beneficial, but large scale evaluation is needed. BMJ 2000; 321:254-5. [More details]

  7. Imperiale TF, Ransohoff DF, Itzkowitz SH, Turnbull BA, Ross ME. Fecal DNA versus fecal occult blood for colorectal-cancer screening in an average-risk population. N Engl J Med 2004; 351:2704-14. [More details]

  8. Ahlquist DA. Next-generation stool DNA testing: expanding the scope. Gastroenterology 2009; 136:2068-73. [More details]

  9. Chen WD, Han ZJ, Skoletsky J, Olson J, Sah J, Myeroff L, et al. Detection in fecal DNA of colon cancer-specific methylation of the nonexpressed vimentin gene. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005; 97:1124-32. [More details]

  10. Itzkowitz SH, Jandorf L, Brand R, Rabeneck L, Schroy PC 3rd, Sontag S, et al. Improved fecal DNA test for colorectal cancer screening. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:111-7. [More details]

  11. Itzkowitz S, Brand R, Jandorf L, Durkee K, Millholland J, Rabeneck L, et al. A simplified, noninvasive stool DNA test for colorectal cancer detection. Am J Gastroenterol 2008; 103:2862-70. [More details]

  12. Itzkowitz SH. Incremental advances in excremental cancer detection tests. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009; 101:1225-7. [More details]

  13. Nagasaka T, Tanaka N, Cullings HM, Sun DS, Sasamoto H, Uchida T, et al. Analysis of fecal DNA methylation to detect gastrointestinal neoplasia. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009; 101:1244-58. [More details]

  14. Owusu-Sarfo K, Asiago V, Gowda N, Shanaiah N, Xi B, Chiorean EG, Raftery D. 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling of serum for the detection of pancreatic cancer. J Clin Oncol 2011; 29(Suppl. 4):Abstract 193. [More details]

  15. Spratlin JL, Serkova NJ, Eckhardt SG. Clinical applications of metabolomics in oncology: a review. Clin Cancer Res 2009; 15:431-40. [More details]

  16. Bathe OF, Shaykhutdinov R, Kopciuk K, Weljie AM, McKay A, Sutherland FR, et al. Feasibility of identifying pancreatic cancer based on serum metabolomics. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2011;20:140-7. [More details]

  17. Sidransky D, Tokino T, Hamilton SR, Kinzler KW, Levin B, Frost P, Vogelstein B. Identification of ras oncogene mutations in the stool of patients with curable colorectal tumors. Science 1992; 256:102-5. [More details]

  18. Traverso G, Shuber A, Levin B, Johnson C, Olsson L, Schoetz DJ Jr, et al. Detection of APC mutations in fecal DNA from patients with colorectal tumors. N Engl J Med 2002; 346:311-20. [More details]

  19. Glöckner SC, Dhir M, Yi JM, McGarvey KE, Van Neste L, Louwagie J, et al. Methylation of TFPI2 in stool DNA: a potential novel biomarker for the detection of colorectal cancer. Cancer Res 2009; 69:4691-9. [More details]

  20. Melotte V, Lentjes MH, van den Bosch SM, Hellebrekers DM, de Hoon JP, Wouters KA, et al. N-Myc downstream-regulated gene 4 (NDRG4): a candidate tumor suppressor gene and potential biomarker for colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009; 101:916-27. [More details]

Keywords Early Detection of Cancer; Metabolomics; Methylation; Pancreatic Neoplasms

Correspondence Tamas A Gonda: tg2214@columbia.edu

JOP Home page