Biomarkers associated to poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer

A recent publication by Torres et al. has found that B7-1/CD80, EG-VEGF/PK1, IL-29, NRG1-beta1/HRBiomarkers associated to poor pancreatic cancer prognosisG1-beta1, and PD-ECGF expressions portend a poor prognosis for patients with pancreatic cancer, and these cytokines could represent novel therapeutic targets for this disease.

The overall survival of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is extremely low. Although gemcitabine is the standard used chemotherapy for this disease, clinical outcomes do not reflect significant improvements, not even when combined with adjuvant treatments.

The authors note that there is an urgent need for prognosis markers to be found. The aim of their study was to analyse the potential value of serum cytokines to find a profile that could predict the clinical outcome in patients with pancreatic cancer and to establish a practical prognosis index that would significantly predicts patients’ outcomes.

Therefore, they conducted an extensive analysis of serum prognosis biomarkers using an antibody array comprising 507 human cytokines. Overall survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate Cox’s proportional hazard models were used to analyse prognosis factors. To determine the extent that survival could be predicted based on this index, they used the leave-one-out cross-validation model. The multivariate model showed a better performance and it could represent a novel panel of serum cytokines that correlates to poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. As for many cancers, for pancreas cancer, it may not be possible for one single biomarker to provide the necessary prognosis information about the patient to base treatment options on.For this reason, panels of biomarkers are advisable to accurately predict the stage of the disease and how it will progress.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) accounts for only 2.68% of all cancers, but it represents the fourth leading cancer-related death worldwide just remaining after lung and bronchus, prostate, and colorectum cancers in men and after lung and bronchus, breast, and colorectum cancers in women, and is amongst the less prevalent cancer.

Being able to foresee the prognosis of a PDAC patient may help to avoid futile therapy approaches and to improve quality of life of those whose long-term survival is unpromising.

Congratulations to Carolina and Sonia for this publication!