OCT 14, 2020 2:30 PM SGT

Detection and Treatment Prediction of Pancreatic Cancer Using a Glycan Biomarker​

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
  • Professor, Van Andel Institute, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology

      Dr. Brian Haab is a Professor in the Center for Cancer and Cell Biology at the Van Andel Institute (VAI) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His research is on the identification and detection of subtypes of pancreatic cancer using glycan biomarkers. The laboratory studies blood plasma, tumor tissue, and cyst fluid using novel glycan analysis technologies to deliver biomarkers for 1) earlier and more accurate diagnoses and 2) improved prediction of tumor behavior and drug responses. Dr. Haab received his PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University before accepting a faculty position at the VARI in 2000.


    CA19-9 is widely known as being the best marker for pancreatic cancer having, on average, a 75% specificity and sensitivity. Three versions of a candidate biomarker related to CA 19-9 (sTRA), detected through screening via on-chip glycon profiling and their value in pancreatic cancer diagnosis are described. The distinct structural components of the sTRA versions, contrary to CA19-9, gives them a stem characteristic, indicating a potential role as subtype markers. Plasma levels of the biomarkers correlated with 45 matched samples, indicating the blood sample can be a good indicator of the primary tumor level. Combining the biomarkers together can detect more types of cancers than each alone, leading to improved sensitivity from 47% to 63%. Additionally, a statistically significant sensitivity increases over CA19-9 alone was noted in a blinded set. This is most rigorous validation so far of improvement upon CA 19-9 using upfront predefined thresholds and classification rules with statistically significant improvement. CA 19-9 provides prognosis value but lacks treatment prediction value. In contract, sTRA, demonstrates value for differentiating subtypes of cancers that is more resistant to chemo.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand the gaps in pancreatic cancer screening and how to overcome those gaps
    • sTRA demonstrates differentiating value when compared to CA19-9

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