Mayo Clinic Prospective Resource for Biomarker Validation and Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

Project: Research project

Project Details


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is typically detected at late stage due to absence of a cancer screening strategy, with concomitant poor survival rates. Detection of PDAC at an early stage positively impacts survival, and currently screening in eligible high-risk individuals (HRIs) defined by family history and germline mutation status is considered best practice. The overall goal of this proposal is to use knowledge gained during the last grant period to considerably enhance our ability to develop and validate the diagnostic performance of new blood protein and methylated DNA (MDM) biomarkers for early detection of PDAC, using prospective specimen collection and retrospective blinded evaluation (PRoBE) compliant methods. We hypothesize that a combination of proteins, MDMs, and CA19-9 will accurately identify early stage PDAC in HRIs. We will assess the performance characteristics of our approaches in early stage and pre-diagnostic phase of PDAC and identify approaches that are optimized for clinical translation as an early detection tool using HRIs. For over two decades, Mayo Clinic’s prospective biospecimen resources have accrued, using standardized high-quality procedures, well-annotated biospecimens from thousands of PDAC patients including those with germline mutations in pancreas cancer susceptibility genes, high risk members in familial pancreatic cancer kindreds, patients with high-risk pancreatic conditions, and healthy controls. We have also launched the PCDC Signature Protocols at our center. Among those at risk with biospecimens who we have followed longitudinally over two decades, incident PDAC cases have developed, enabling us to utilize novel approaches to address the challenges and better design PRoBE phase 3 studies. Based on our findings in the last grant period, we now focus on tailoring samples for PRoBE phase 2 studies and characterizing performance to improve phase 3 studies. Our approach will allow us to assess, for example, variability in biomarker expression for intended use HRI settings, and temporality of biomarker expression to improve the ability to detect early onset PDAC. Our Specific Aims are to: 1) Accrue formal biospecimen sets from blood sample products and pancreatic cyst fluid suitable for PCDC biomarker studies; 2) Leverage our past knowledge and experience to develop new biomarker panels using tailored phase 2 designs and incorporating covariates to refine detection (age, sex, race, smoking, personal history of diabetes mellitus, symptoms at diagnosis) to optimize detection; and 3) Evaluate needed performance parameters that will inform the design of a successful phase 3 study for PDAC in a surveillance setting of HRIs. Our multidisciplinary team is committed to continue its leadership and contribution to the PCDC organization to advance the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Our project leverages existing infrastructures and biospecimen banks of pancreatic cancer and other pancreatic diseases at Mayo Clinic and University of Pennsylvania, and it will extend new prospective collections of blood and pancreatic cyst fluid from patients, contributing to PCDC Signature Protocol cohorts and a PCDC central biorepository.
Effective start/end date7/15/168/31/24


  • National Cancer Institute: $811,268.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $812,380.00


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