The next "sweet" spot for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: Glycoprotein for early detection.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common neoplastic disease of the pancreas, accounting for more than 90% of all pancreatic malignancies. As a highly lethal malignancy, PDAC is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide with a 5-year overall survival of less than 8%. The efficacy and outcome of PDAC treatment largely depend on the stage of disease at the time of diagnosis. Surgical resection followed by adjuvant chemotherapy remains the only possibly curative therapy, yet 80%-90% of PDAC patients present with nonresectable PDAC stages at the time of clinical presentation. Despite our advancing knowledge of PDAC, the prognosis remains strikingly poor, which is primarily due to the difficulty of diagnosing PDAC at the early stages. Recent advances in glycoproteomics and glycomics based on mass spectrometry have shown that aberrations in protein glycosylation plays a critical role in carcinogenesis, tumor progression, metastasis, chemoresistance, and immuno-response of PDAC and other types of cancers. A growing interest has thus been placed upon protein glycosylation as a potential early detection biomarker for PDAC. We herein take stock of the advancements in the early detection of PDAC that were carried out with mass spectrometry, with special focus on protein glycosylation.

Chen SY, Clark DJ, Höti N, Wang Y, Xu Y, Zhang H


Mass Spectrom Rev, 2021

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