Table of Contents
International Journal of Proteomics
Volume 2011, Article ID 413646, 9 pages
Review Article

The Use of Protein-Based Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Cystic Tumors of the Pancreas

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Taubman 3912, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5362, USA
2Departments of Surgery and Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Taubman 2210B, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5343, USA

Received 10 June 2011; Accepted 15 August 2011

Academic Editor: David E. Misek

Copyright © 2011 Richard S. Kwon and Diane M. Simeone. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Proteomics is a powerful method used to identify, characterize, and quantify proteins within biologic samples. Pancreatic cystic neoplasms are a common clinical entity and represent a diagnostic and management challenge due to difficulties in accurately diagnosing cystic lesions with malignant potential and assessing the risk of malignant degeneration. Currently, cytology and other biomarkers in cyst fluid have had limited success in accurately distinguishing both the type of cystic neoplasm and the presence of malignancy. Emerging data suggests that the use of protein-based biomarkers may have greater utility in helping clinicians correctly diagnose the type of cyst and to identify which cystic neoplasms are malignant. Several candidate proteins have been identified within pancreatic cystic neoplasms as potential biomarkers. Future studies will be needed to validate these findings and move these biomarkers into the clinical setting.