PANCREATIC ADENOCARCINOMA: SECRETORY MARKERS AND CORRELATION WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE
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Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the fourth highest cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, has the most aggressive presentation resulting in a very short median survival time for the affected patients. Early detection of PDAC is confounded by lack of specific markers. Proteins of importance in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease (PD) are believed to be of etiological significance and correlated to or be the cause/effect of pancreatic disease. Expression of proteins like PD autosomal recessive, early onset 7 (PARK-7/DJ-1), α-Synuclein (SNCA) both of which are known to be pathognomonic to Parkinson’s disease was found altered in various stages of the disease. Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase (NP) has been exploited to be a therapeutic target in cancers. The expression of all these three proteins was found to be variable with the stage and existence of metastatic lesions in PDAC tissues. The protein levels of NP were higher in PDAC sera compared to the benign samples. The serum NP levels of other cancers viz. lung, kidney, colon and breast were also not elevated. While the serum levels of NP and those of its downstream metabolites have the potential to differentiating PDAC from benign, the expression levels of SNCA and PARK-7/DJ-1 allude to a possible nuance in the etiology of PD and PDAC.