Identification of pancreatic cysts with malignant potential is important to prevent pancreatic cancer development. Integrity of cell free DNA (cfDNA) has been described as tumor biomarker, but its potential for pancreatic cancer is unclear. While normal apoptotic cells release uniformly truncated DNA, malignant tissues release long fragments of cell free DNA (cfDNA). We measured 247 base pair (bp) and 115 bp DNA fragments of ALU repeats by qPCR in serum from healthy controls and pancreatic cancer patients, and in cyst fluid from pancreatic cyst patients. No differences in total cfDNA (ALU115) and cfDNA integrity (ALU247/115) were observed between sera from healthy controls (n=19) and pancreatic cancer patients (n=19). Although elevated as compared to serum, but no differences in cfDNA were found in cyst fluid from high risk (n=10) and low risk (n=20) cyst patients. We conclude that cfDNA integrity is not a useful marker to identify (pre)malignant pancreatic lesions.

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American Journal of Cancer Research
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Utomo, W., Janmaat, V., Verhaar, A., Cros, J. (Jérôme), Lévy, P., Ruszniewski, P., … Peppelenbosch, M. (2016). DNA integrity as biomarker in pancreatic cyst fluid. American Journal of Cancer Research, 6(8), 1837–1841. Retrieved from