Erin J. McSpadden

Differing Molecular Pathology of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma in the Mississippi Delta and Michigan Patients

AUTHORS: EJ McSpadden, Amr S. Soliman, Keris KrennHrubec, Joel K. Greenson, Jui-Shuang Chu, Sara Robinson.

OBJECTIVES: Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer in the United States, with a 5 year survival rate of less than five percent and a median survival of 3-6 months from the point of diagnosis. Smoking is the only major risk factor that has been conclusively linked to pancreatic cancer. In order to better understand this deadly disease, it is important to study and identify additional risk factors in pancreatic cancer. One risk factor that has been suggested is heavy metal pollution, particularly Cadmium. A Previous study in Egypt comparing pancreatic cancer cases from a low pollution region vs. a high pollution region showed differences in both the overall rate of mutation and the types of mutation expressed. In the United States, the Mississippi Delta region of Louisiana has the highest rate of pancreatic cancer in addition to being one of the most highly polluted regions in the nation. The purpose of this study is to compare the rates and types of genetic mutations in the p-53 tumor suppressor gene and the k-ras oncogene between pancreatic cancer cases in a low pollution region (Michigan), and a high pollution area (Louisiana) and compare the results to previous studies.

METHODS: The study is a case-case study comparing the molecular pathology of cancer patients from Michigan (n= ) and Louisiana (n=). Michigan cases were recruited from the University of Michigan Hospital after a positive Diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. Louisiana cases were identified as cases positively diagnosed from the region of interest by our collaborators at Louisiana State University School of Public Health. Tumor tissue was extracted from paraffin block tumor samples and tissue viability was confirmed by a pathologist. The tissue was then microdisscected and DNA extracted. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was performed on exons 5, 6, 7, and 8 on the P-53 tumor suppressor gene, and on the K-ras oncogene. The DNA was then sent for sequencing at the University of Michigan Gene Sequencing Core and results read looking for gene mutations.

RESULTS: Initial results show a higher rate of mutation in the Michigan cases compared to the Louisiana cases Please add the rates for each group. The initial results do show a difference between the types of mutations in the tumor tissue Please add the % of the types of mutations. In the final results we expect to see a difference in both the rate and the type of mutation between the two populations, much like in the previous study conducted in Egypt.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study are important for understanding the etiology of Pancreatic Cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a rapidly deadly disease and much about it remains unknown. Louisiana has the highest rate of pancreatic cancer in the United States, and the molecular differences between cases in Louisiana and Michigan could lead to a better understanding of the underlying causes and the molecular pathways that lead to disease.