Novel DNA methylation biomarkers provide accurate detection of bile duct cancer

Kim Andresen, first author
Kim Andresen, first author

The Department of Molecular Oncology in collaboration with the Norwegian PSC Research Center at Oslo University Hospital (OUH), Rikshospitalet, recently published a paper in Hepatology, where a high-performance epigenetic biomarker panel suitable for identifying patients with bile duct cancer was described.

Bile duct cancer is a clinically ‘silent’ malignancy with limited treatment options and poor chance of survival. Furthermore, it is often associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a hepatobiliary inflammatory disease characterized by development of biliary strictures and dilatations. PSC may ultimately result in liver failure. Up to 20% of these patients develop bile duct cancer, and it is generally challenging to discriminate malignancy from the inflammatory background. Using a large series of endoscopically obtained biliary brush samples, an attractive source of material currently used in the clinical diagnostics of this disease, the presented biomarker panel combined with conventional biliary brush cytology increased tumor detection rate to a promising 94% with a high specificity (96%).

The aim of this study was to provide the clinicians treating these patients at OUH with a molecular tool to improve the current clinical challenges in identifying patients who have already developed cancer, to diagnose early stage malignancy and/or monitor patients at risk of developing this malignancy.


Read the whole article in Hepatology here.

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