Soluble MICA is elevated in pancreatic cancer: Results from a population based case-control study

Guillaume Onyeaghala, Heather H. Nelson, Bharat Thyagarajan, Amy M. Linabery, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Myron Gross, Kristin E. Anderson, Anna E. Prizment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed at a late stage and has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the United States, creating an urgent need for novel early detection tools. A candidate biomarker for use in early detection is the soluble MHC class I-related chain A (s-MICA) ligand, which pancreatic tumors shed to escape immune detection. The objective of this study was to define the association between s-MICA levels and pancreatic cancer, in a population-based case-control study. S-MICA was measured in 143 pancreatic cancer cases and 459 controls. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratio (OR) for pancreatic cancer and 95% confidence intervals (CI). There was a positive association between increasing s-MICA levels and pancreatic cancer: compared to the lowest tertile, the ORs for pancreatic cancer were 1.25 (95%CI: 0.75-2.07) and 2.10 (95%CI: 1.29-3.42) in the second and highest tertiles, respectively (P-trend = 0.02). Our study supports previous work demonstrating a positive association between plasma s-MICA levels and pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2158-2164
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the physicians, research and administrative staff involved in the PANC study, as well as all the study participants. We wish to express our thanks to Mr Mike Ehrhardt and the University of Minnesota Cytokine Reference Laboratory for conducting the laboratory analyses for this study. We are also grateful to our colleagues at the University of Minnesota Molecular Diagnostics Clinical Laboratory for their invaluable insight. Research was supported by Institutional Research Grant #124166-IRG-58-001-55-IRG21 from the American Cancer Society. A.E. Prizment was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the NIH Award Number UL1 TR000114. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25CA163184 (Jean Forster, PhD, MPH and Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH, Co-PIs). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • pancreatic cancer
  • population based case-control study
  • s-MICA


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