Navigation Links
Compendium of pancreatic cancer biomarkers established as strategic approach to early-detection
Date:4/6/2009

A cancer scientist from Johns Hopkins has convinced an international group of colleagues to delay their race to find new cancer biomarkers and instead begin a 7,000-hour slog through a compendium of 50,000 scientific articles already published to assemble, decode and analyze the molecules that might herald the furtive presence of pancreatic cancer.

With limited resources available for the exhaustive and expensive testing that needs to be done before any candidate can be considered a bona fide biomarker of clinical value, it's important to take stock of the big picture and strategize, says Akhilesh Pandey, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and founder and director of the Institute of Bioinformatics in Bangalore, India.

Having mined the literature to amass 2,516 potential biomarkers of pancreatic cancer, Pandey and his team are publishing their compendium on April 6 in PLoS Medicine. They systematically cataloged the genes and proteins that are overexpressed in pancreatic cancer patients, then characterized and compared these biomarker candidates in terms of how worthy each is of further study.

More than 200 genes are shortlisted because they were reported in four or more published studies to be overexpressed meaning that the proteins they make are in higher abundance in people with pancreatic cancer than in people without the disease. This qualifies them as "excellent candidates" for the further studies that are needed to validate them as sensitive and specific biomarkers, note the authors.

Pandey says he was motivated by the fact that even leading cancer investigators had no real idea about how many candidate biomarkers for pancreatic cancer had already been identified, much less how they stacked up against each other in terms of clinical value in detecting early stages of the disease. Such biomarkers are highly valued because they gallop Paul Revere-like through the bloodstream and can signal early warnings of clinically invisible cancers and other diseases.

"Curation and databases are not very sexy concepts," says Pandey. "But we can't keep doing the exciting new discovery stuff and never take the time to catalog our results and share them."

Taking pancreatic cancer biomarkers to prove the value of such a strategic "big picture" approach, Pandey says it could serve as a basis for other disease-marker research.

"For the first time with pancreatic cancer and potentially with any cancer we have a handle on the number of candidates already identified and a real sense of how big an army we should send on the mission of further testing them," says Pandey.

Pandey's ultimate goal is to ferret out the best protein biomarker for pancreatic cancer a molecule that reveals itself in an accessible bodily fluid and therefore can be detected with ease and accuracy just like the protein biomarker that's made early on by a developing fetus and is exploited by at-home pregnancy tests.

The "gold standard" pancreatic cancer biomarker would possess both high sensitivity and specificity for early diagnosis. Cancer, at its most basic, is an abnormal population of cells that produce specific molecules biomarkers which healthy, cancer-free bodies do not. Cancer also tends to be incipient, Pandey says.

The ideal biomarker would allow for easy diagnosis when a cancer is still young, before it spreads to other organs. It could also help clinicians make informed decisions about treatments and better predict of outcomes, Pandey says: "Biomarkers could tell us who should undergo surgery, who should get chemotherapy, and in which people a cancer is likely to recur."

Biomarker discovery is an exploding area of research, Pandey says, yielding ever-increasing amounts of data more than any one person can hope to keep track of, unless it's all strategically collected for widespread study.

"We want to initiate a trend by proving the importance of collection and cataloging," Pandey says, "which are exercises that many might view as tedious."

The team's next step is to create a searchable Web database that is universally available and free.


'/>"/>

Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik;
myakutc1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New tarpon, bonefish compendium published
2. Obesity and lack of exercise could enhance the risk of pancreatic cancer
3. Low levels of key protein may indicate pancreatic cancer risk
4. Birth records hold pancreatic cancer clue
5. Naturally-occurring apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer
6. Elusive pancreatic stem cells found in adult mice
7. Mesothelin engineered on virus-like particles provides treatment clues for pancreatic cancer
8. Jefferson scientists deliver toxic genes to effectively kill pancreatic cancer cells
9. UC Davis researchers discover Achilles heel in pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers engineer pancreatic cell transplants to evade immune response
11. DNA repair patterns may predict risk of pancreatic cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... 2016   Neurotechnology , a provider ... technologies, today released FingerCell 3.0, a software ... that run on low-power, low-memory microcontrollers. FingerCell ... than 128KB of memory, enabling it to ... limited on-board resources, such as: mobile phones, ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market by Authentication ... (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region - Global ... from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 Billion by ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: ... Public Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is ... analysis for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth ... region during the analysis period 2014-2020. ... CAGR of 9.95% followed by Europe ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... Equicare Health Inc ., the leading supplier of comprehensive ... the top 100 companies in the 2016 Global Digital ... top digital health companies across the globe.   ... continually upgrading our product with the ongoing digital shift ... Len Grenier , CEO of Equicare Health, "It,s ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016   Merck , ein führendes ... einer Reihe von Vereinbarungen mit Evotec AG ... Screeningleistungen für Mercks Palette genetischer Reagenzien wie ... diese Bibliotheken in Kombination mit Evotecs Expertise ... zur Ermittlung und Erforschung neuer Arzneimitteltargets.    ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... , ... SSCI, the established leader in small-molecule cocrystal technology and development, will ... on pharmaceutical cocrystals as drug substance . The Lunch and Learn will ... follows the successful November 15th event that took place in Burlingame, CA. Eyal H. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November 2016, the International Union ... nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, ... earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau. The IUPAC ...
Breaking Biology Technology: