BACKGROUND: Neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) is increasingly applied in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC); however, accurate prediction of therapeutic response to NAT remains a pressing clinical challenge. Cancer-cell-derived sialylated immunoglobulin G (SIA-IgG) was previously identified as a prognostic biomarker in PDAC. This study aims to explore whether SIA-IgG expression in treatment-naïve fine needle aspirate (FNA) biopsy specimens could predict the pathological response (PR) to NAT for PDAC. METHODS: Endoscopic ultrasonography-guided FNA biopsy specimens prior to NAT were prospectively obtained from 72 patients with PDAC at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. SIA-IgG expression of PDAC specimens was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Associations between SIA-IgG expression and PR, as well as patient prognosis, were analyzed. A second cohort enrolling surgically resected primary tumor specimens from 79 patients with PDAC was used to validate the prognostic value of SIA-IgG expression. RESULTS: SIA-IgG was expressed in 58.3% of treatment-naïve FNA biopsies. Positive SIA-IgG expression at diagnosis was associated with unfavorable PR and can serve as an independent predictor of PR. The sensitivity and specificity of SIA-IgG expression in FNA specimens in predicting an unfavorable PR were 63.9% and 80.6%, respectively. Both positive SIA-IgG expression in treatment-naïve FNA specimens and high SIA-IgG expression in surgically resected primary tumor specimens were significantly associated with shorter survival. CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of SIA-IgG on FNA specimens prior to NAT may help predict PR for PDAC. Additionally, SIA-IgG expression in treatment-naïve FNA specimens and surgically resected primary tumor specimens were predictive of the prognosis for PDAC.
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