Abstract

This study was undertaken to determine whether recently identified proteins could be translated to clinical practice as markers to distinguish pancreatic adenocarcinoma from chronic pancreatitis on fine-needle aspirate (FNA) samples. Resected pancreatic tissue sections (n = 40) and FNA samples (n = 65) were stained for clusterin-β, MUC4, survivin, and mesothelin. For each biomarker, the staining patterns in adenocarcinoma and in reactive ductal epithelium were evaluated and compared. Clusterin-β stained reactive ductal epithelium significantly more frequently than pancreatic adenocarcinoma (P < .001). In comparison, MUC4 and mesothelin were expressed more frequently in pancreatic adenocarcinoma on tissue sections. Positive staining for MUC4 (91% vs 0%; P < .001) and mesothelin (62% vs 0%; P = .01) and absence of staining for clusterin-β (90% vs 7%; P < .001) were noted significantly more frequently in adenocarcinoma cells than in reactive cells in FNA samples. Clusterin-β and MUC4 can help distinguish reactive ductal epithelial cells from the cells of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in FNA samples.

Author notes

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These authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
Supported in part by grant P20CA101955 from the National Institutes of Health–National Cancer Institute–sponsored pancreatic SPORE program (Bethesda, MD).