Research press release


Nature Biomedical Engineering

Cheap and quick ultrasensitive detection of pancreatic cancer



Ye Huたちは、膵臓がんに特異的なタンパク質(エフリンA型受容体2)の存在を定量化することによって0.001 ml(1 μl)という少量の未処理血漿から膵臓がんを診断することができる迅速で超高感度なアッセイ(検査法)を明らかにした。このアッセイを用いたところ、健常被験者48例、膵炎患者48例、およびステージI~IIIの膵臓がん患者59例を対象とする予備試験で、臨床現場で日常的に利用されている唯一のがんバイオマーカーCA19-9と比較して高感度かつ高特異性(85%超)で膵臓がん患者を特定した。


A test for detecting pancreatic cancer from small samples of unprocessed blood plasma at the point of care, and that can also distinguish the condition from pancreatitis, is reported in a paper published online this week in Nature Biomedical Engineering. The study suggests that the method, which is rapid, cheap and ultrasensitive, could be readily adapted for the diagnosis and monitoring of other diseases for which biomarkers in blood are known.

For investigative tests to be implemented in the clinic, they need to be fast, highly sensitive and specific, and involve minimal sample processing. However, most assays developed for the detection of cancer biomarkers present in blood require time-consuming steps.

Ye Hu and colleagues report a rapid and ultrasensitive assay (test) that is able to diagnose pancreatic cancer from as little as 0.001 ml (1 μl) of unprocessed plasma by quantifying the presence of a specific pancreatic cancer protein (ephrin type-A receptor 2). In a pilot study involving 48 healthy people, 48 patients with pancreatitis and 59 patients with stage I-III pancreatic cancer, the assay identified the pancreatic cancer patients with higher sensitivities and specificities (greater than 85%) than obtained with CA19-9, the only cancer biomarker that is routinely used in the clinic.

Although the results need to be validated in larger prospective cohort studies, the assay has the potential to improve the early detection, treatment and monitoring of pancreatic cancer and of other cancers and infections.

doi: 10.1038/s41551-016-0021


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