The scientists at Johns Hopkins University used a genome-wide pharmacologic transcriptome approach to identify two novel cancer-specific DNA methylation markers in cultured pancreatic cancer cells: BNC1 and ADAMTS1. Using a nanoparticle-enabled MOB (Methylation On Beads) technology, they found that these two markers are also frequently detected in serum samples of pancreatic cancer patients (N = 42) with a sensitivity for BNC1 of 79% and for ADAMTS1 of 48%, while the specificity was 89% for BNC1 and 92% for ADAMTS1. Overall the sensitivity using both markers is 81% and specificity is 85%.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths and there currently is no reliable modality for the early detection of this disease. Their study demonstrates that assaying the promoter methylation status of these genes in circulating DNA from serum is a promising strategy for early-detection of pancreatic cancer and has the potential to improve mortality from this disease.
Source: Learn all about it and read more about their findings here: Yi JM et al: Novel Methylation Biomarker Panel for the Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 2013 Oct 2.