CA 19-9 tumor marker test especially important for early-stage patients, Mayo finds
NAPA, Calif. — Only 1 in 5 U.S. pancreatic cancer patients receive a widely available, inexpensive blood test at diagnosis that can help predict whether they are likely to have a better or worse outcome than average and guide treatment accordingly, a Mayo Clinic study shows. People who test positive for elevated levels of a particular tumor marker tend to do worse than others, but if they are candidates for surgery and have chemotherapy before their operations, this personalized treatment sequence eliminates the elevated biomarker’s negative effect, researchers found.
The findings will be presented at the Western Surgical Association annual meeting Nov. 7-10 in Napa.
“This is another argument for giving chemotherapy before surgery in all pancreatic cancer patients and ending the old practice of surgery followed by chemo,” says senior author Mark Truty, M.D., a gastrointestinal surgical oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “The study answers an important clinical question and applies to every pancreatic cancer patient being considered for surgery.”
The Mayo study, which used the National Cancer Data Base, is the first on the subject based on national data and is the largest of its kind, Dr. Truty says.
JOURNALISTS: For interviews with Dr. Truty, please contact Sharon Theimer in Mayo Clinic Public Affairs at 507-284-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.