The value of combined use of serum tumour markers and nuclear magnetic spectroscopy of plasma in the detection of pancreatic cancer among patients with jaundice or cholestasis: results from a prospective study.Anticancer Res. 1993 May-Jun; 13(3):763-8.AR
We studied a combined utilization of serum tumour markers and proton nuclear magnetic resonance 1H NMR spectroscopy of plasma in the detection of pancreatic cancer. Serum concentrations of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carboanhydrate antigens CA 50 and CA 242, and 1H NMR spectra of plasma were determined in a series of 51 patients, of whom 25 had malignant and 26 benign hepatopancreatobiliary disorder. The measurements in 1H NMR spectra were performed both manually and by computed technique, and both methylene (CH2) and methyl (CH3) peaks were evaluated. In the patients with pancreatic cancer (n = 17, including two cases of cancer of the papilla of Vater), the mean serum values of all tumour markers were significantly (p = 0.001) higher than in the patients with benign disease. The diagnostic sensitivity of the tumour markers alone reached 82-100% with a specificity of 35-82%. In the 1H NMR spectra of sera, the mean linewidth of the CH3-peak both in the manual and computed measurement was significantly narrower in the patients with pancreatic cancer than in the benign disease group. Using the cut-off level of 33 Hz, the sensitivity and specificity of 1H NMR alone was in the manual measurement 53% and 76%, respectively, while in the computed measurement the corresponding figures were 94% and 20%. When the serum tumour markers and 1H NMR spectroscopy were evaluated as combinations, both in the manual and computed measurements the specificities and positive likelihood ratios were clearly better than those of the tumour markers alone, but efficiencies improved only slightly. The results suggest that the combined use of tumour marker tests and 1H NMR of plasma gives only slightly improved accuracy in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.