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Although plasma complement factor B (CFB, NX_P00751), both alone and in combination with CA19-9 (i.e., the ComB-CAN), previously exhibited a reliable diagnostic ability for pancreatic cancer (PC), its detectability of the early stages and the cancer detection mechanism remained elusive. We first evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of ComB-CAN using plasma samples from healthy donors (HDs), patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP), and patients with different PC stages (I/II vs III/IV). An analysis of the area under the curve (AUC) by PanelComposer using logistic regression revealed that ComB-CAN has a superior diagnostic ability for early-stage PC (97.1.% [95% confidence interval (CI): (97.1-97.2)]) compared with CFB (94.3% [95% CI: 94.2-94.4]) or CA19-9 alone (34.3% [95% CI: 34.1-34.4]). In the comparisons of all stages of patients with PC vs CP and HDs, the AUC values of ComB-CAN, CFB, and CA19-9 were 0.983 (95% CI: 0.983-0.983), 0.950 (95% CI: 0.950-0.951), and 0.873 (95% CI: 0.873-0.874), respectively. We then investigated the molecular mechanism underlying the detection of early-stage PC by using stable cell lines of CFB knockdown and CFB overexpression. A global transcriptomic analysis coupled to cell invasion assays of both CFB-modulated cell lines suggested that CFB plays a tumor-promoting role in PC, which likely initiates the PI3K-AKT cancer signaling pathway. Thus our study establishes ComB-CAN as a reliable early diagnostic marker for PC that can be clinically applied for early PC screening in the general public.


Min Jung Lee, Keun Na, Heon Shin, Chae-Yeon Kim, Jin-Young Cho, Chang Moo Kang, Sung Hyun Kim, Hoguen Kim, Hye Jin Choi, Choong-Kun Lee, Sumi Bae, Sunghwa Son, Young-Ki Paik. Early Diagnostic Ability of Human Complement Factor B in Pancreatic Cancer Is Partly Linked to Its Potential Tumor-Promoting Role. Journal of proteome research. 2021 Dec 03;20(12):5315-5328

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PMID: 34766501

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