Evaluation of MSX2 mRNA in brush cytology specimens distinguished pancreatic carcinoma from chronic pancreatitis

Kennichi Satoh, Shin Hamada, Atsushi Kanno, Kazuyuki Ishida, Hiromichi Ito, Morihisa Hirota, Atsushi Masamune, Shinichi Egawa, Michiaki Unno, Tooru Shimosegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


It is difficult to distinguish pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) from chronic pancreatitis (CP) when stricture is present in the pancreatic duct. Endoscopic brushing cytology is a convenient method for investigating strictures in the pancreatic duct, however, the diagnostic sensitivity of this method for PDAC is reported to be low (40-70%). Recently, we revealed that MSX2 is frequently expressed in PDAC cells but not in normal cultured pancreatic duct or stellate cells. Thus, we analyzed MSX2 expression levels in brushing samples to examine whether this would differentiate PDAC from CP. Cytologic brushing specimens were obtained from pancreatic duct strictures during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography in 82 patients. The brushing fluid was subjected to cytological diagnosis and RNA extraction. The expression level of MSX2 was evaluated by one-step real-time RT-PCR. MSX2 expression levels were significantly higher in PDAC than in CP (P = 0.0000007), and the expression level was associated with positive cytology (P = 0.013). The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy for PDAC of cytology and MSX2 expression in ductal strictures were: 47.4%, 100%, and 63.4%, and 73.7%, 84.0%, and 79.3%, respectively. The sensitivity and accuracy of MSX2 expression levels for diagnosis were much higher than those of cytology. This suggests that the evaluation of MSX2 levels in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography brushing samples would be useful for distinguishing PDAC from CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalCancer science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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