Markers Can Predict More Aggressive Pancreatic Tumors

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Monday, August 31, 2009

MONDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Blood flow is impaired and metabolism is enhanced in pancreatic tumors, and a high ratio of metabolism to blood flow predicts poor survival, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Clinical Cancer Research.

Gaber Komar, M.D., and colleagues from Turku University Central Hospital in Finland used positron emission tomography and computed tomography scans to study blood flow and metabolism in seven patients with a normal pancreas, eight patients with benign pancreatic lesions, and 11 patients with malignant pancreatic tumors.

Compared with normal pancreas, the researchers found that blood flow of the lesion was 48 percent lower in benign lesions and 60 percent lower in malignant lesions. Compared with normal pancreas and benign lesions, malignant tumors had a three-fold higher standardized uptake value (a measure of metabolism) and a significantly higher ratio of standardized uptake value to blood flow. A high ratio was a strong predictor of poor survival in patients with malignant tumors.

"Blood flow in pancreatic cancer is significantly reduced compared with the normal pancreas, which may in part explain the poor success of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy," Komar and colleagues conclude. "We suggest that the composite measurement of blood flow and metabolism in pancreatic cancer could serve as a novel tool in the planning of treatments targeting vasculature."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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