Pancreatic Cancer: A Biomarker Challenge

Current tests produce both false negatives and false positives; accurate tests will likely need to include multiple markers.

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Illustration of pancreatic cancer from Scientific Animations (BY-SA Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International).
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Figure 1. Sources of potential biomarkers for cancer. Cancer biomarkers are present in body fluids, including the blood, saliva, urine, or breath. Various techniques exist to identify cancer-associated changes in the abundance of specific proteins; alterations in DNA sequence or epigenetic modifications; the presence of cancer-specific gene expression profiles in the form of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), or microRNA (miRNA) profiles; and changes in the abundance of volatile organic compounds and cellular metabolites. Image compilation by Nancy R. Gough, BioSerendipity. DNA and mRNA illustrations from Sponk / *translation: Sponk — Chemical structures of nucleobases by Roland1952, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9810855; LncRNA illustration from lncRNA from Wang et al., Int. J. Mol. Sci. 18, 2659 (2017) DOI: 10.3390/ijms18122659 CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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