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Onco Targets Ther. 2016 Dec 9;9:7459-7467. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S100510. eCollection 2016.

Biomarkers in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: current perspectives.

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Department of Surgery, University of Utah Health Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a poor prognosis, with a 5-year survival rate of 7.7%. Most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage not amenable to potentially curative resection. A substantial portion of this review is dedicated to reviewing the current literature on carbohydrate antigen (CA 19-9), which is currently the only guideline-recommended biomarker for PDAC. It provides valuable prognostic information, can predict resectability, and is useful in decision making about neoadjuvant therapy. We also discuss carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CA 125, serum biomarker panels, circulating tumor cells, and cell-free nucleic acids. Although many biomarkers have now been studied in relation to PDAC, significant work still needs to be done to validate their usefulness in the early detection of PDAC and management of patients with PDAC.


CA 19-9; CEA; biomarkers; pancreatic cancer; screening

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The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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