Glypican-1 in exosomes as biomarker for early detection of pancreatic cancer

Marta Herreros-Villanueva, Luis Bujanda


On June 24, 2015 Nature published an article entitle “Glypican-1 identifies cancer exosomes and detects early pancreatic cancer’’, which demonstrates that exosomes positives for the proteoglycan glypican-1 (GPC1) are expressed in serum of patients with pancreatic cancer since very early stages but not in benign pancreatic disease. Additionally, these GPC1+ circulating exosomes correlate with tumor burden and could be used as prognostic biomarker in pre and post-surgical patients. The study is pioneer since GPC1 biomarker in exosomes offers better sensitivity and specificity than any other under evaluation or used in clinical practice. However, methodology for exosomes isolation still remains at investigational phase. Further studies are need to translate this technology to a practicable clinical method. Further research is also required to validate this biomarker in larger prospective cohort including more cases of premalignant lesions and then replicated results could possible guide changes in clinical practice.