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A metabolomics-based biomarker signature discriminates pancreatic cancer from chronic pancreatitis
  1. Eithne Costello
  1. Correspondence to Professor Eithne Costello, Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, 2nd Floor Sherrington Building, Ashton Street, Liverpool L69 3GE, UK; ecostell{at}

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The incidence of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is increasing. The projection that it will surpass breast cancer to become the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2030 serves as a wake-up call to stakeholders, including healthcare systems and researchers.1 Earlier diagnosis is one factor that could alter this trajectory. Correspondingly, the research community has made substantial efforts to find biomarkers that will enable the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at a stage where it can be successfully treated.2 There are however, significant challenges. Pancreatic cancer is a very heterogeneous disease with great interindividual variation, as well as significant heterogeneity within the tumours of individuals.3 4 This calls for large sample sizes to ensure adequate representation of subtypes. Moreover, biomarker development programmes require samples to be separated into independent training and test sets, further increasing the quantity of samples needed. However, the number of new cases of pancreatic cancer per year is low compared with other common cancers. Therefore, in order to acquire sufficient samples of patients with cancer and control individuals for biomarker studies, multicentre collaborations are essential. Such collaborations require orchestration, as the use of standardised protocols for collection and storage of both case and control samples across centres …

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