Harvard researchers led by Ying Bao, MD, ScD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School) published an article last week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute with an intriguing finding. In looking at 468 pancreatic cancer patients (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) compared with 1080 matched control subjects, they found that the fat cell secreted hormone adiponectin (in serum) was lower in the pancreatic cancer patient group (6.2 vs. 6.8 µg/mL). This finding held for each of the five groups of patients that they studied.
Low adiponectin in blood being associated with higher risk – implies that abnormal glucose and/or fat metabolism may be a contributor to the growth of pancreatic cancer tissue. The findings of this preliminary study lends itself better understanding the origins of pancreatic cancer, and further research for earlier diagnosis and even treatment.
Dale O’Brien, MD