Optical markers in duodenal mucosa predict the presence of pancreatic cancer

Yang Liu, Randall E. Brand*, Vladimir Turzhitsky, Young L. Kim, Hemant K. Roy, Nahla Hasabou, Charles Sturgis, Dhiren Shah, Curtis Hall, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose: Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly cancers and carries a dismal 5-year survival rate of <5%. Therefore, there is urgent need to develop a highly accurate and minimally invasive (e.g., without instrumentation of the pancreatic duct given high rate of complications) method of detection. Our group has developed a collection of novel light-scattering technologies that provide unprecedented quantitative assessment of the nanoscale architecture of the epithelium. We propose a novel approach to predict pancreatic cancer through the assessment of the adjacent periampullary duodenal mucosa without any interrogation of the pancreatic duct or imaging of the pancreas. Experimental Design: Endoscopically and histologically normal-appearing periampullary duodenal biopsies obtained from 19 pancreatic cancer patients were compared with those obtained at endoscopy from 32 controls. Biopsies were analyzed using our newly developed optical technologies, four-dimensional elastic light-scattering fingerprinting (4D-ELF) and low-coherence enhanced backscattering (LEBS) spectroscopy. Results: 4D-ELF - and LEBS-derived optical markers from normal-appearing periampullary duodenal mucosa can discriminate between pancreatic cancer patients and normal controls with 95% sensitivity and 91% specificity. Moreover, the diagnostic performance of these optical markers was not compromised by confounding factors such as tumor location and stage. Conclusions: Here, we showed, for the first time, that optical analysis of histologically normal duodenal mucosa can predict the presence of pancreatic cancer without direct visualization of the pancreas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4392-4399
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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