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Br J Cancer. 1991 Nov;64(5):899-902.

Elevated serum levels of Dupan-2 in pancreatic cancer patients negative for Lewis blood group phenotype.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan.


CA19-9, a serum marker for pancreatic cancer, gives false-negative results in patients who are negative for the Lewis blood group phenotype. To determine whether other markers may compensate for this drawback, serum levels of CA50, Span-1, sialyl SSEA-1 and Dupan-2 were assayed and compared with those of CA19-9 in 207 normal subjects and in 200 patients with pancreatic carcinoma whose Lewis blood group phenotypes were confirmed. In normal subjects with the Lewis negative phenotype, the serum levels of CA50 and Span-1, as well as CA19-9, were significantly low, whereas those of sialyl SSEA-1 were independent of the Lewis blood group phenotype. Serum levels of Dupan-2 were significantly higher in normal subjects with the Le (a-b-) phenotype as compared with those with Le(a-b+). The sensitivity for pancreatic carcinoma was 81% for CA19-9, 84% for CA50, 82% for Span-1, 51% for sialyl SSEA-1 and 63% for Dupan-2. Among the 39 CA19-9 negative patients, 13 were determined as being Lewis negative by the serum dot-ELISA technique. Although the positive rates were essentially comparable when each marker was combined with CA19-9, a highly elevated serum level of Dupan-2, which strongly suggested the presence of malignancy, was most frequently encountered in 39 patients who were not diagnosed by CA19-9 assay, especially those with Lewis negative blood groups. With regard to the three other markers, we found few patients with a highly elevated serum level in either the Lewis-negative or -positive groups. We conclude that Dupan-2 tended to be elevated in patients with pancreatic cancer who were negative for the Lewis blood group phenotype.

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