Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is among the most lethal cancer types world-wide. Its high mortality is related to the difficulty in the diagnosis, which often occurs when the disease is already advanced. As of today, no early diagnostic tests are available, while only a limited number of prognostic tests have reached clinical practice. The main reason is the lack of reliable biomarkers that are able to capture the early development or the progression of the disease. Hence, the discovery of biomarkers for early diagnosis or prognosis of PDAC remains, de facto, an unmet need. An increasing number of studies has shown that cell-free DNA (cfDNA) methylation analysis represents a promising non-invasive approach for the discovery of biomarkers with diagnostic or prognostic potential. In particular, cfDNA methylation could be utilized for the identification of disease-specific signatures in pre-neoplastic lesions or chronic pancreatitis (CP), representing a sensitive and non-invasive method of early diagnosis of PDAC. In this review, we will discuss the advantages and pitfalls of cfDNA methylation studies. Further, we will present the current advances in the discovery of pancreatic cancer biomarkers with early diagnostic or prognostic potential, focusing on pancreas-specific (e.g., CUX2 or REG1A) or abnormal (e.g., ADAMTS1 or BNC1) cfDNA methylation signatures in high risk pre-neoplastic conditions and PDAC.

Cell-Free DNA Methylation: The New Frontiers of Pancreatic Cancer Biomarkers' Discovery

Falco, Geppino;Angrisano, Tiziana
2020

Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is among the most lethal cancer types world-wide. Its high mortality is related to the difficulty in the diagnosis, which often occurs when the disease is already advanced. As of today, no early diagnostic tests are available, while only a limited number of prognostic tests have reached clinical practice. The main reason is the lack of reliable biomarkers that are able to capture the early development or the progression of the disease. Hence, the discovery of biomarkers for early diagnosis or prognosis of PDAC remains, de facto, an unmet need. An increasing number of studies has shown that cell-free DNA (cfDNA) methylation analysis represents a promising non-invasive approach for the discovery of biomarkers with diagnostic or prognostic potential. In particular, cfDNA methylation could be utilized for the identification of disease-specific signatures in pre-neoplastic lesions or chronic pancreatitis (CP), representing a sensitive and non-invasive method of early diagnosis of PDAC. In this review, we will discuss the advantages and pitfalls of cfDNA methylation studies. Further, we will present the current advances in the discovery of pancreatic cancer biomarkers with early diagnostic or prognostic potential, focusing on pancreas-specific (e.g., CUX2 or REG1A) or abnormal (e.g., ADAMTS1 or BNC1) cfDNA methylation signatures in high risk pre-neoplastic conditions and PDAC.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/797650
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