(HealthDay News) — A test that measures four serum metabolites can accurately distinguish patients with pancreatic cancer from healthy people and patients with pancreatitis, according to a study published online March 29 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Takashi Kobayashi, MD, PhD, from the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify serum metabolites present in 43 patients with pancreatic cancer and 42 healthy volunteers.
The researchers found that a diagnostic model using four metabolites had a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 88.1%. Applying the model to an independent group of 42 patients with pancreatic cancer, 23 patients with chronic pancreatitis, and 41 healthy volunteers gave a sensitivity of 71.4% and a specificity of 78.1%. Compared with conventional tumor markers, the model had a higher sensitivity (77.8%) for resectable pancreatic cancer and a lower false positive rate (17.4%) for chronic pancreatitis.
“Our model possessed higher accuracy than conventional tumor markers at detecting the resectable patients with pancreatic cancer in [a] cohort including patients with chronic pancreatitis,” the authors write.