Extracellular vesicle-derived microRNAs in pancreatic juice as biomarkers for detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Kateryna Nesteruk, Iris J.M. Levink, Esther de Vries, Isis J. Visser, Maikel P. Peppelenbosch, Djuna L. Cahen, Gwenny M. Fuhler, Marco J. Bruno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage, with minimal likelihood of long-term survival. Only a small subset of patients are diagnosed with early (T1) disease. Early detection is challenging due to the late onset of symptoms and limited visibility of sub-centimeter cancers on imaging. A novel approach is to support the clinical diagnosis with molecular markers. MicroRNA derived from extracellular vehicles (EVs) in blood has shown promise as a potential biomarker for pancreatic neoplasia, but microRNA derived from pancreatic juice (PJ) may be a more sensitive biomarker, given that is in close contact with ductal cells from which PDAC arises. This study aims to evaluate and compare the performance of PJ- and serum-derived EV-miRNA for the detection of PDAC. Methods: PJ was collected from the duodenum during EUS after secretin stimulation from 54 patients with PDAC and 118 non-malignant controls. Serum was available for a subset of these individuals. MiR-16, miR-21, miR-25, miR-155 and miR-210 derived from EVs isolated from PJ and serum were analyzed by qPCR, and serum CA19-9 levels were determined by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. For statistical analysis, either a Mann-Whitney U test or a Wilcoxon Signed Rank test was performed. ROC curves and AUC were used to assess the sensitivity and specificity of miR expression for PDAC detection. Results: Expression of EV-miR-21, EV-miR-25 and EV-miR-16 were increased in cases vs controls in PJ, while only EV-miR-210 was increased in serum. The potential to detect PC was good for a combination of PJ EV-miR-21, EV-miR-25, EV-miR-16 and serum miR-210, CA-19-9, with an area under the curve of 0.91, a specificity of 84.2% and a sensitivity of 81.5%. Conclusion: Detection of miRNA from EVs in PJ is feasible. A combined panel of PJ EV-miR-21, EV-miR-25, EV-miR-16, and serum EV-miR-210 and CA19-9 distinguishes cases with PDAC from controls undergoing surveillance with a specificity of 81.5% and sensitivity of 84.2%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-635
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge Henk P. Roest, Guido W. Jenster, Marten E. van Royen

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


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