FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Telomere fusions predict the presence of high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and/or invasive pancreatic cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.
Tatsuo Hata, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed telomere fusion in 91 pancreatic cancer cell lines and xenograft samples, 93 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), and 93 surgically aspirated IPMN cyst fluid samples.
The researchers detected telomere fusions in 61.5 percent of pancreatic cancers. Compared with fusion-negative lines, telomere fusion-positive cell lines had significantly shorter telomere lengths (P = 0.003). In normal pancreas or IPMNs with low-grade dysplasia, telomere fusions were undetectable (0.0 percent); telomere fusions were detected in IPMN with HGD (48.0 percent) (P < 0.001). Among IPMN cyst fluids, IPMNs with HGD (26.9 percent) or associated invasive cancer (42.9 percent) more often had telomere fusions than IPMNs with intermediate-grade dysplasia (15.4 percent) or low-grade dysplasia (0 percent) (P = 0.025). Cyst fluids with fusions had higher telomerase activity levels than those without (P = 0.0414). In multivariate analysis, cyst fluid telomerase fusion status was an independent predictor of HGD/invasive cancer (odds ratio, 6.23).
“Telomere fusions are detected in later stages of IPMN progression and can serve as a marker for predicting the presence of HGD and/or invasive cancer,” the authors write.
Two authors submitted a patent describing telomere fusions and their detection in pancreatic cyst fluids.
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