Plasma suPAR may help to distinguish between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

Anu Aronen, Janne Aittoniemi, Reetta Huttunen, Anssi Nikkola, Irina Rinta-Kiikka, Jussi Nikkola, Olli Limnell, Isto Nordback, Juhani Sand, Johanna Laukkarinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: SuPAR (soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor) is a biomarker reflecting the inflammatory state of the human body. Earlier studies suggest that urinary suPAR/creatinine ratio levels are elevated in chronic pancreatitis (CP), and that plasma suPAR (P-suPAR) level is elevated in pancreatic cancer (PC). Our aim was to study the levels of P-suPAR in CP in a long-term prospective follow-up setting to explore the possibility of distinguishing between PC and CP. Materials and methods: Two patient groups were compared. The first group included 83 patients who were prospectively followed up after their first acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis (AAP) for median 7.0 (range 0.3–9.8) years. Twelve patients in this group developed CP during follow-up, and two patients were further excluded from the CP cohort. The second group consisted of 25 patients operated on for suspicion of pancreatic malignancy and final pathological diagnosis of PC. P-suPAR levels were measured and compared within and between these groups. Results: P-suPAR levels remained low during follow-up despite the development of CP. P-suPAR was significantly higher in PC patients [median 3.7 (IQR 3.1–4.4) ng/mL] than in CP patients [2.6 (1.8–3.6) ng/mL]; p =.014. A cutoff value of 2.8 ng/mL resulted from a ROC curve with area under curve (AUC) of 0.79 (95% CI 0.61–0.97), p =.009 in differentiation between PC and CP with a sensitivity and a specificity of 88% and 70% respectively. Conclusion: P-suPAR is higher in patients with PC than in patients with CP, and it could thus be used in differentiating between PC and CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Early online date27 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Biomarkers
  • cancer
  • chronic
  • markers
  • pancreatic cancer
  • pancreatitis
  • plasminogen activator receptor
  • tumour
  • urokinase type

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma suPAR may help to distinguish between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this