Diagnosis of pancreatic cancer by cytology and telomerase activity in exfoliated cells obtained by pancreatic duct brushing during endoscopy.Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2007 Jun; 6(3):308-11.HP
Telomerase activity is reported to be specific and frequent in human pancreatic cancer. We conducted this study to assess the usefulness of monitoring telomerase activity in exfoliated cells obtained by pancreatic duct brushing during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Exfoliated cells obtained by pancreatic duct brushing during ERCP from 21 patients (18 with pancreatic cancer, 3 with chronic pancreatitis) were examined. Telomerase activity was detected by polymerase chain reaction and telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay (PCR-TRAP-ELISA).
D450 values of telomerase activity were 0.446+/-0.2700 in pancreatic cancer and 0.041+/-0.0111 in chronic pancreatitis. 77.8% (14/18) of patients with pancreatic cancer had cells with telomerase activity. None of the samples from patients with chronic pancreatitis showed telomerase activity, when the cutoff value of telomerase activity was set at 2.0. Cytological examination showed cancer cells in 66.7% (12/18) of the patients.
Telomerase activity may be an early malignant event in pancreatic cancer development. Cytology and telomerase activity in cells obtained by pancreatic duct brushing may complement each other for the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.