Multiparametric plasma EV profiling facilitates diagnosis of pancreatic malignancy

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Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is usually detected late in the disease process. Clinical workup through imaging and tissue biopsies is often complex and expensive due to a paucity of reliable biomarkers. We used an advanced multiplexed plasmonic assay to analyze circulating tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (tEVs) in more than 100 clinical populations. Using EV-based protein marker profiling, we identified a signature of five markers (PDACEV signature) for PDAC detection. In our prospective cohort, the accuracy for the PDACEV signature was 84% [95% confidence interval (CI), 69 to 93%] but only 63 to 72% for single-marker screening. One of the best markers, GPC1 alone, had a sensitivity of 82% (CI, 60 to 95%) and a specificity of 52% (CI, 30 to 74%), whereas the PDACEV signature showed a sensitivity of 86% (CI, 65 to 97%) and a specificity of 81% (CI, 58 to 95%). The PDACEV signature of tEVs offered higher sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy than the existing serum marker (CA 19-9) or single–tEV marker analyses. This approach should improve the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

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