Rhim AD, Thege FI, Santana SM, Lannin TB, Saha TN, Tsai S, Maggs LR, Kochman ML, Ginsberg GG, Lieb JG, Chandrasekhara V, Drebin JA, Ahmad N, Yang YX, Kirby BJ, Stanger BZ; (2014) Detection of Circulating Pancreas Epithelial Cells in Patients with Pancreatic Cysitc Lesions. Gastroenterology, 146(3):647-651
Abstract: Hematogenous dissemination is thought to be a late event in cancer progression. We recently showed in a genetic model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma that pancreas cells can be detected in the bloodstream before tumor formation. To confirm these findings in humans, we used microfluidic geometrically enhanced differential immunocapture to detect circulating pancreas epithelial cells in patient blood samples. We captured more than 3 circulating pancreas epithelial cells/mL in 7 of 21 (33%) patients with cystic lesions and no clinical diagnosis of cancer (Sendai criteria negative), 8 of 11 (73%) with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and in 0 of 19 patients without cysts or cancer (controls). These findings indicate that cancer cells are present in the circulation of patients before tumors are detected, which might be used in risk assessment.