Background/objective To evaluate the usefulness of genetic markers in pancreatic juice (PJ), and the combination of these markers with telomerase activity in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) from chronic pancreatitis. Methods We conducted a meta-analysis for the diagnostic utility of the four major altered genes in PDAC (KRAS, CDKN2A/p16, TP53, and SMAD4/DPC4), telomerase activity, and a combination assay using PJ samples. A literature search was conducted in MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. Data were pooled and presented as diagnostic sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results Thirty-nine studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Pooled estimates of KRAS analysis were as follows: sensitivity was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.63-0.71) and specificity, 0.82 (95% CI, 0.79-0.85). For telomerase activity analysis, sensitivity was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.76-0.87) and specificity, 0.96 (95% CI, 0.90-0.99). The other three tumor suppressors demonstrated low sensitivity. The data did not suggest any publication bias. A combined analysis of KRAS and telomerase activity showed a higher diagnostic sensitivity (0.94; 95% CI, 0.83-0.99) than KRAS alone. A combined analysis of telomerase activity and cytology revealed more reliable diagnostic accuracy than telomerase activity alone, with high sensitivity (0.88; 95% CI, 0.74-0.96) and specificity (1.00; 95% CI, 0.91-1.00). Conclusions The most reliable marker in PJ samples for diagnosis of PDAC was telomerase activity. Telomerase activity can play a central role in diagnostic analysis using PJ samples, and can increase diagnostic accuracy when combined with KRAS mutations or cytological examination.
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pancreatic juice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism