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Stool Testing for Pancreatic Cancer

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Mayo Clinic
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Wendy K. Chung, Columbia University Identifier:
First received: April 13, 2010
Last updated: February 6, 2017
Last verified: February 2017
The purpose of this study is to determine if pancreatic cancer/pre-cancer can be detected in early stages through the molecular analysis of stool samples. Investigators hypothesize that analysis of stool samples using digital melt curve (DMC) analysis, can be used as a sensitive and specific method to detect the common genetic abnormalities present in pancreatic cancers and pre-cancerous lesions of the pancreas.

Pancreatic Cancer

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case-Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Detection of Pancreatic Cancer and Pre-cancer by Stool DNA Testing: A Feasibility Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Columbia University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Positive mutation rate in tumors/IPMN lesions vs. control [ Time Frame: 30 days ]
    The positive mutation rates in tumor or IPMN lesions and in matched controls will be assessed.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Percentage of patients with genetic abnormalities correctly detected in stool samples [ Time Frame: 30 days ]
    Whether or not the genetic abnormalities that are detected in resected tissue can also be detected in stool specimens will be studied. If the hypothesis proves to be true, a new, non-invasive technique used in the detection of pre-cancerous lesions of the pancreas and pancreatic cancer will thereby be determined.

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
  • Tissue Collection: Fresh frozen resected tumor and IPMN tissue will be obtained whenever possible. All resected specimens, cancer and IPMN, will have histologic review to confirm the diagnosis. Ten slices of 10 microns each from each specimen will be prepared and sent to Mayo Clinic on dry ice.
  • Stool Collection: Prior to any surgery, stool will be collected from both study and control patients. Collection containers and mailing materials will be provided to subjects at time of their recruitment. Stool specimens will be mailed directly to Mayo Clinic within 48 hours of collection. Stool will be stored at 80 °C until assayed.
  • Stool DNA extraction: After stool is homogenized, crude stool DNA will be extracted and purified.
  • Digital melt curve mutation analysis: Target gene copies in captured stool DNA and tissue DNA will be quantified with real-time PCR. To target the mutations detected in tumor specimens, we will utilize PCR primers that scan for specific gene abnormalities.

Enrollment: 158
Actual Study Start Date: July 9, 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Control Group
Individual who has not had pancreatic cancer/IPMN; surgical resection for lesion of pancreas; history of colorectal, gastric cancer, esophageal, or head-and-neck cancer; administration of chemotherapy less than 1 week prior to enrollment; or an endoscopic procedure conducted less than 1 week prior to enrollment.
Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer/IPMN
Patients diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer/Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm who are scheduled for surgical resection.

Detailed Description:

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDC) remains the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. This is largely due to the fact that most patients present with advanced, unresectable disease, highlighting the critical need for a screening test for this disease. Stool testing is an approach that has not been explored for use in PDC screening. With the advent of stool-based DNA tests, it may be possible to target genetic abnormalities that have been recently characterized in PDC tumorigenesis.

Aim: The aim of this study is to determine if deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) alterations present in pancreatic cancer and precancerous intrapapillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) can be reliably recovered in matched stool.

Methods: This is a case-control prospective study to determine the utility of a stool-based digital melt curve (DMC) assay in PDC screening. A total of 30 patients (18 with pancreatic cancer, 12 with IPMN) who will be undergoing pancreatic resection will be enrolled. Pancreatic neoplastic tissue will be isolated from their surgical specimens and the genes most commonly mutated in PDC will be sequenced from extracted DNA. In addition, hypermethylation at common promoter sites will be assessed by methylation-specific PCR. The genetic and epigenetic alterations isolated in pancreatic tissue will be utilized as the targets for stool DMC assay. Blinded technicians will process stool specimens from control patients as well as a matched control. The primary outcomes of this study will be the sensitivity and specificity of the stool DMC assay in detecting genetic mutations present in tumor or IPMN lesions.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Individuals with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer/IPMN who are scheduled for surgical resection at Columbia University Medical Center's Pancreas Center will be accrued to this study.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 years of age and older.
  • Tissue-confirmed or radiological evidence of either pancreatic adenocarcinoma or intrapapillary mucinous neoplasm(IPMN).
  • Scheduled for surgical resection of the adenocarcinoma or IPMN.
  • Able to give informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of colorectal, gastric cancer, esophageal, or head-and-neck cancer.
  • Endoscopic procedure conducted less than 1 week prior to enrollment.
  • Unwillingness or inability to sign informed consent.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01104129

United States, New York
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Sponsors and Collaborators
Columbia University
Mayo Clinic
Principal Investigator: Wendy K Chung, MD Columbia University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Wendy K. Chung, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics, Columbia University Identifier: NCT01104129     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AAAD8007
Study First Received: April 13, 2010
Last Updated: February 6, 2017
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: No

Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No

Keywords provided by Columbia University:
Pancreatic Cancer
Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm (IPMN)
Stool-based digital melt curve (DMC) assay
Surgical resection for pancreatic cancer
Hereditary Pancreatic Cancer Syndrome
Genetic mutations linked to pancreatic cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pancreatic Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Endocrine Gland Neoplasms
Digestive System Diseases
Pancreatic Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases processed this record on April 28, 2017