Project Survival

Pancreatic Cancer Biomarker Discovery Study

Why is this research study important?

Early diagnosis and treatment is important for people affected by pancreatic diseases. Pancreatitis is the leading cause of hospitalization in the US among people with a disease of their digestive tract, and pancreatic cancer became the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in 2015.

What is a biomarker?

Biomarkers are biological substances used to diagnose and treat patients with a disease before standard testing reveals a problem. Biomarkers are associated with diseased tissue and may be found in your blood, urine, or saliva, as well as a diseased pancreas. Currently there are no reliable biomarkers for detecting pancreatic diseases.

Who is eligible?

Participation is voluntary. We hope you will participate because you fall into one of the following categories of people needed to identify a pancreatic disease biomarker:

  • Patients with pancreatic disease (such as tumors or cysts, pancreatitis, diabetes)
  • People or family members at risk for pancreatic disease
  • Healthy people without pancreatic disease

What samples do we collect and store?

We need blood, urine and saliva to find the best biomarker. We make every effort to draw your blood at the time of other scheduled tests required for your medical care. If you require a biopsy or surgery on your pancreas for your standard medical care, we also will store a piece of tissue that is left over after all necessary clinical testing is completed.

How will my samples be used?

Your biological samples and medical information may be used to:

  • Identify genes and biomarkers to improve the detection and treatment of pancreatic disease.
  • Create biological models predicting the outcome of pancreatic disease.
  • Perform studies which have not been invented yet.

What do we need from you?

  • Participation in the research study will not affect your medical care.
  • A staff person at your local study site will review the study and will ask you to sign an informed consent form which describes the study in greater detail.
  • Answer questions about yourself and your medical history.
  • Allow us to review your medical record for information about your medical history.
  • Provide samples of blood, urine, and saliva.
  • Give us permission to store information about you, your medical care, your biological samples, and diagnostic imaging performed during your standard medical care.
  • If you have a pancreatic disease, we will contact you during future visits to your doctor where we will update your health information and ask you to provide blood, urine and saliva samples. We will coordinate future visits with your standard medical care whenever possible.
  • Allow us to contact you about participating in future research studies.

What are the benefits of participating?

  • Even though you will not receive any direct benefit from this study, your participation may lead to advancements which will help others in the future.
  • We cannot share any results from future research studies performed with your donated samples.

How is my privacy protected?

  • Results from these research studies will not go in your medical record.
  • All data collected during this study will be kept in a password protected, secure database.
  • There is no PHI on the samples that we collect and store for research.
  • Access to your information will be limited to researchers and collaborators (inside and outside of your local study site) who require access or compliance monitoring purposes.
  • Information shared about you outside of your local study site will be strictly limited and tightly controlled.
  • You will not be identified in publications resulting from this research study.

What are the risks and costs of participating?

  • Pain or bruising at the site of the blood draw, and rarely infection.
  • Your personal information might be compromised. We have secure programs and procedures in place to protect your personal information. We will do our best to make sure that the personal information used for this study will be kept private. However, we cannot guarantee total privacy.
  • You will not be charged for any procedures or tests performed for research purposes. Our collection of your samples and health information will not create costs to you or your insurance company.

What are my rights?

You may decide not to participate. This decision will not affect your medical care or cause you to lose any benefits.

If you choose to participate, you have the right to leave the study at any time. You have the right to be informed of new information that may affect your willingness to stay in this study. The investigators will contact you with this information if applicable.

To maintain your confidentiality, the results of these research studies will not appear in your medical record.

Participating Study Sites

The following sites are currently enrolling patients. Please connect by phone or email for more information.

Washington University School of Medicine
600 South Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110
Principal Investigator: Andrea Wang-Gillam, PhD, MD
Clinical Research Coordinator: Samantha Marquez


Contact Us

Please contact the PCRT Project Manager:

Arthur Lee
PCRT Project Manager