Thursday, January 19, 2012 (Last Updated: 01/20/2012)THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The PAM4-antigen immunoassay detects approximately two-thirds of patients with stage 1 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC); and use of spatial-domain low-coherence quantitative phase microscopy (SL-QPM) accurately distinguishes non-dysplastic intestinal metaplasia (IM) from high-grade dysplasia (HGD) or esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) in patients with Barrett's esophagus, according to two studies presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from Jan. 19 to 21 in San Francisco.
David V. Gold, Ph.D., from the Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology/Garden State Cancer Center in Morris Plains, N.J., and colleagues evaluated sera from patients with malignant and benign diseases of the pancreas using an enzyme immunoassay for concentration of PAM4-antigen levels. The investigators found that the overall sensitivity of detection of PDAC was 76 percent, with 64 and 85 percent sensitivity for patients with stage 1 disease and advanced disease, respectively. Only 19 percent of the 126 patients with benign conditions of the pancreas tested positive.
Randall Brand, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues investigated use of SL-QPM to detect changes in the IM in a retrospective study of 60 patients with Barrett's esophagus (33 with IM and 27 with HGD or EAC). The technique identified three significant optical biomarkers. A prediction model combining all three had 89 percent sensitivity and 76 percent specificity for distinguishing Barrett's esophagus from HGD/EAC.
"If subsequent testing proves successful, our approach could lead to simpler and more effective ways of monitoring for patients with Barrett's esophagus. Such a monitoring program would identify a subset of high-risk Barrett's patients who need more intensive surveillance, and who could also be candidates for therapy to destroy the precancerous tissue," Brand said in a statement.
One of the authors from the Gold study disclosed financial ties to Immunomedics.
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