Walter G. Park, MD
Walter G. Park, MD

Walter G. Park Shares Key Findings from Research Published in the Red Journal, Cyst Fluid Glucose is Rapidly Feasible and Accurate in Diagnosing Mucinous Pancreatic Cysts

ACG:  Explain the genesis of your research and what prompted this study.

Dr. Park:  Pancreatic cysts are increasingly being discovered with routine use of CT and MRI scans in clinical practice.  Some of these harbor potential to become cancer.  We sought to study the contents of the cyst fluid to see if we can identify metabolites that might be useful in clinical practice for differentiating the different cyst types.

ACG: Explain the key findings and significance of your findings for physicians.

Dr. Park:  In our original study using a metabolomics analysis, we observed the glucose levels were lower in mucinous cysts.  Since then we have gone on to further validate this finding in this paper.  We studied 3 different types of commonly used glucose assays – the clinical laboratory, a glucometer which is routinely used by diabetics, and a reagent strip typically used to measure glucose in urine. We found that glucose continued to be lower in mucinous or pre-malignant cysts in all 3 assays.

ACG: What do patients need to know?

Dr. Park:  Patients need to know that most cysts are indolent and have very little chance of becoming cancer.  New tests like glucose may help stratify which type of cyst they may have.

ACG: How does this research advance our knowledge of pancreatic cysts and what does it mean for the future identification of biomarkers?

 Dr. Park: This research shows us that different cyst types have unique biological mechanisms and they will have different DNA, protein, RNA, and metabolite products which can be used for diagnosis and prediction of pancreatic cancer in cysts.  This research will hopefully spur and motivate other avenues of cyst fluid biomarker research.

Read the full study

About Dr. Park:

Dr. Park is Assistant Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterolgy and Hepatology) at the Stanford University Medical Center.