Rational sequence of tests for pancreatic function.
Of 144 patients with suspected pancreatic disease in whom a 75Se-selenomethionine scan was performed, endoscopic retrograde pancreatography (ERP) was successful in 108 (75%). The final diagnosis is known in 100 patients and has been compared with scan and ERP findings. A normal scan reliably indicated a normal pancreas, but the scan was falsely abnormal in 30%. ERP distinguished between carcinoma and chronic pancreatitis in 84% of cases but was falsely normal in five patients with pancreatic disease. In extrahepatic biliary disease both tests tended to give falsely abnormal results. A sequence of tests to provide a rapid and reliable assessment of pancreatic function should be a radio-isotope scan, followed by ERP if the results of the scan are abnormal, and a Lundh test if the scan is abnormal but the findings on ERP are normal. (+info)
Diphtheria toxin effects on human cells in tissue culture.
HeLa cells exposed to a single sublethal concentration of diphtheria toxin were found to have diminished sensitivity when subsequently reexposed to the toxin. Three cells strains exhibiting toxin resistance were developed. In the cells that had previously been exposed to toxin at 0.015 mug/ml, 50% inhibition of protein synthesis required a toxin concentration of 0.3 mug/ml, which is more than 10 times that required in normal HeLa cells. There appears to be a threshold level of diphtheria toxin action. Concentrations of toxin greater than that required for 50% inhibition of protein synthesis (0.01 mug/ml) are associated with cytotoxicity, whereas those below this concentration may not be lethal. Several established human cell lines of both normal and neoplastic origin were tested for their sensitivity to the effects of the toxin. No special sensitivity was observed with the cells of tumor origin. Fifty % inhibition of protein synthesis of HeLa cells was achieved with diphtheria toxin (0.01 mug/ml) as compared to the normal human cell lines tested (0.03 and 0.5 mug/ml) and a cell line derived from a human pancreatic adenocarcinoma (0.2 mug/ml). A human breast carcinoma cell line showed a maximum of 45% inhibition of protein synthesis. This required a diphtheria toxin concentration of 5 mug/ml. These results suggest that different human cell lines show wide variation in their sensitivity to the toxin. (+info)
Expression and differential regulation of connective tissue growth factor in pancreatic cancer cells.
CTGF is an immediate early growth responsive gene that has been shown to be a downstream mediator of TGFbeta actions in fibroblasts and vascular endothelial cells. In the present study hCTGF was isolated as immediate early target gene of EGF/TGFalpha in human pancreatic cancer cells by suppression hybridization. CTGF transcripts were found in 13/15 pancreatic cancer cell lines incubated with 10% serum. In 3/7 pancreatic cancer cell lines EGF/TGFalpha induced a significant rise of CTGF transcript levels peaking 1-2 h after the start of treatment. TGFbeta increased CTGF transcript levels in 2/7 pancreatic cancer cell lines after 4 h of treatment and this elevation was sustained after 24 h. Only treatment with TGFbeta was accompanied by a parallel induction of collagen type I transcription. 15/19 human pancreatic cancer tissues were shown to overexpress high levels of CTGF transcripts. CTGF transcript levels in pancreatic cancer tissues and nude mouse xenograft tumors showed a good correlation to the degree of fibrosis. In situ hybridization and the nude mouse experiments revealed that in pancreatic cancer tissues, fibroblasts are the predominant site of CTGF transcription, whereas the tumor cells appear to contribute to a lesser extent. We conclude that CTGF may be of paramount importance for the development of the characteristic desmoplastic reaction in pancreatic cancer tissues. (+info)
Detection of liver metastases from pancreatic cancer using FDG PET.
We evaluated the potential of the glucose analog [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) as a PET tracer for the hepatic staging in 168 patients designated for resective pancreatic surgery. METHODS: Metastatic liver disease was confirmed or excluded during surgery or with CT follow-up for at least 6 mo. Proven metastases were then retrospectively identified on preoperative CT (gold standard). Hepatic PET scans of all patients were interpreted blindly. Any focal FDG uptake was considered malignant. Both proven hepatic metastases and suspicious hepatic PET lesions were then compared, lesion by lesion, with CT. Standardized uptake values (SUV) and tumor-to-liver ratios (T/L) were determined for the most intense lesion of each patient. RESULTS: Sensitivity of FDG PET was 68% (15 of 22 patients). The lesion detection rate was 97% (28 of 29 metastases) for lesions >1 cm and 43% (16 of 37 metastases) for lesions < or = 1 cm. Specificity was 95% (138 of 146 patients). Six of eight patients with false-positive results had marked intrahepatic cholestasis (versus 3 of 15 patients with true-positive lesions), one had an infrahepatic abscess and one had a right basal pulmonary metastasis. The SUV and T/L were 4.6+/-1.4 and 2.3+/-1.1, respectively, for malignant lesions and 4.1+/-1.5 and 1.9+/-0.3, respectively, for false-positive lesions and therefore are of limited value. CONCLUSION: FDG PET provides reliable hepatic staging for lesions >1 cm. False-positive results are associated with the presence of marked intrahepatic cholestasis. For lesions < or = 1 cm, FDG PET can define malignancy in 43% of suspicious CT lesions in the absence of dilated bile ducts. (+info)
Intensive weekly chemotherapy is not effective in advanced pancreatic cancer patients: a report from the Italian Group for the Study of Digestive Tract Cancer (GISCAD).
Twenty-two patients, with locally advanced unresectable and/or metastatic pancreatic carcinoma, received weekly administration of cisplatin 40 mg m(-2), 5-fluorouracil 500 mg m(-2), epidoxorubicin 35 mg m(-2), 6S stereoisomer of leucovorin 250 mg m(-2) and glutathione 1.5 mg m(-2), supported by a daily administration of lenograstim at a dose of 5 microg kg(-1). Nineteen patients were men and three were women. Median age was 63 years (range 47-70). At study entry, pain was present in 15 out of 22 patients (68%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 27.6+/-23.8, whereas a weight loss >10% was present in 15 patients. After eight weekly treatments, three partial responses were achieved for a response rate of 13% (95% CI 0-26%), five patients had stable disease and 14 progressed on therapy. Pain was present in 9 out of 22 patients (40%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 12.3+/-18.4. Eight patients (36%) (three partial response and five stable disease) had a positive weight change. Toxicity was mild: WHO grade III or IV toxicity was recorded in terms of anaemia in 7 out of 188 cycles (3.7%), of neutropenia in 9 out of 188 cycles (4.7%) and of thrombocytopenia in 3 out of 188 cycles (1.5%). Median survival of all patients was 6 months. The outcome of this intensive chemotherapy regimen does not support its use in pancreatic cancer. (+info)
Treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer with the long-acting somatostatin analogue lanreotide: in vitro and in vivo results.
Fourteen patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma were treated with the long-acting somatostatin (SST) analogue lanreotide. No objective response was obtained, and the median survival was 4 months (range 1.8-7 months). Pancreatic cancer could not be visualized by means of SST-receptor (R) scintigraphy in our patients. In vitro data also demonstrated absence of SSTR2 expression, suggesting pancreatic cancer not to be a potential target for treatment with SST analogues. (+info)
Gallstones, cholecystectomy and risk of cancers of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas.
To examine the association between gallstones and cholecystectomy, we conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study in Denmark. Patients with a discharge diagnosis of gallstones from 1977 to 1989 were identified from the Danish National Registry of Patients and followed up for cancer occurrence until death or the end of 1993 by record linkage to the Danish Cancer Registry. Included in the cohort were 60 176 patients, with 471 450 person-years of follow-up. Cancer risks were estimated by standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) stratified by years of follow-up and by cholecystectomy status. Among patients without cholecystectomy, the risks at 5 or more years of follow-up were significantly elevated for cancers of liver (SIR = 2.0, CI = 1.2-3.1) and gallbladder (SIR = 2.7, CI = 1.5-4.4) and near unity for cancers of extrahepatic bile duct (SIR = 1.1), ampulla of Vater (SIR = 1.0) and pancreas (SIR = 1.1). The excess risk of liver cancer was seen only among patients with a history of hepatic disease. Among cholecystectomy patients, the risks at 5 or more years of follow-up declined for cancers of liver (SIR = 1.1) and extrahepatic bile duct (SIR = 0.7), but were elevated for cancers of ampulla of Vater (SIR = 2.0, CI = 1.0-3.7) and pancreas (SIR = 1.3, CI = 1.1-1.6). These findings confirm that gallstone disease increases the risk of gallbladder cancer, whereas cholecystectomy appears to increase the risk of cancers of ampulla of Vater and pancreas. Further research is needed to clarify the carcinogenic risks associated with gallstones and cholecystectomy and to define the mechanisms involved. (+info)
Mutations and allelic deletions of the MEN1 gene are associated with a subset of sporadic endocrine pancreatic and neuroendocrine tumors and not restricted to foregut neoplasms.
Endocrine pancreatic tumors (EPT) and neuroendocrine tumors (NET) occur sporadically and rarely in association with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). We analyzed the frequency of allelic deletions and mutations of the recently identified MEN1 gene in 53 sporadic tumors including 30 EPT and 23 NET (carcinoids) of different locations and types. Allelic deletion of the MEN1 locus was identified in 18/49 (36.7%) tumors (13/30, 43.3% in EPT and 5/19, 26.3% in NET) and mutations of the MEN1 gene were present in 8/52 (15.3%) tumors (4/30 (13.3%) EPT and 4/22 (18.1%) NET). The somatic mutations were clustered in the 5' region of the coding sequence and most frequently encompassed missense mutations. All tumors with mutations exhibited a loss of the other allele and a wild-type sequence of the MEN1 gene in nontumorous DNA. In one additional patient with a NET of the lung and no clinical signs or history of MEN1, a 5178-9G-->A splice donor site mutation in intron 4 was identified in both the tumor and blood DNA, indicating the presence of a thus far unknown MEN1 syndrome. In most tumor groups the frequency of allelic deletions at 11q13 was 2 to 3 times higher than the frequency of identified MEN1 gene mutations. Some tumor types, including rare forms of EPT and NET of the duodenum and small intestine, exhibited mutations more frequently than other types. Furthermore, somatic mutations were not restricted to foregut tumors but were also detectable in a midgut tumor (15.2% versus 16.6%). Our data indicate that somatic MEN1 gene mutations contribute to a subset of sporadic EPT and NET, including midgut tumors. Because the frequency of mutations varies significantly among the investigated tumor subgroups and allelic deletions are 2 to 3 times more frequently observed, factors other than MEN1 gene inactivation, including other tumor-suppressor genes on 11q13, may also be involved in the tumorigenesis of these neoplasms. (+info)