Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is diagnosed too late for treatments to be effective in approximately 80 percent of patients. Screening programs to detect early stage PDAC demonstrate low accuracy, limiting their use for diagnostics and disease monitoring. This leaves patients with only palliative care options and a less than five year prognosis.

University of Utah researchers have developed a biomarker panel supported by extensive studies across clinical samples to provide early screening for PDACs so that patients can receive early clinical intervention. The panel includes a key protein in the blood, basigin, which was found to be elevated in early stage pancreatic cancer patients, but not in late stage or healthy patients. A panel of biomarkers, including basigin, can discriminate between healthy subjects and patients with early stage cancer, with high sensitivity at 95 percent specificity thresholds.