Serum DU-PAN-2 in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer: Influence of jaundice and liver dysfunction

C. Fabris, A. Malesci, D. Basso, G. Del Favero, M. Tacconi, T. Meggiato, P. Fogar, M. P. Panozzo, C. Ferrara, P. Scalon, R. Naccarato

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The usefulness of serum DU-PAN-2 in diagnosing pancreatic cancer and in distinguishing between this cancer and other benign and malignant diseases, and to assess the role of liver dysfunction in altering the serum levels of this marker were investigated. DU-PAN-2 was measured in the sera of 31 patients with pancreatic cancer, 32 with chronic pancreatitis, 20 with benign and 21 with malignant extra-pancreatic diseases. DU-PAN-2 was found to be above 300 U ml-1 in 21/31 patients with pancreatic cancer (sensitivity 68%). Only 3/32 patients with chronic pancreatitis had abnormal values. A substantial number of patients with both benign and malignant extra-pancreatic diseases had an elevated serum DU-PAN-2 (9/20 and 15/21, respectively). Correlations were found between DU-PAN-2 and (1) total bilirubin, (2) alanine-amino-transferase and (3) alkaline phosphatase. Of the patients with high DU-PAN-2 values, jaundice was found in: 2/3 with chronic pancreatitis, 9/10 with benign and 12/14 with malignant extra-pancreatic diseases. In conclusion, the serum DU-PAN-2 test for pancreatic malignancy is not completely satisfactory, because it is not sensitive enough. While the test for chronic pancreatitis has an acceptable specificity, the assay cannot distinguish between pancreatic cancer and other extra-pancreatic diseases, mainly of the liver and biliary tract. Liver dysfunction as well as jaundice seem to considerable affect the levels of this marker, as reported elsewhere for CA 19-9.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-453
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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