Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Kavita Dhanwada


Pancreas--Cancer--Molecular diagnosis; Biochemical markers--Diagnostic use;


Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer of the pancreas that has been shown to have extremely low survival rates. It can be quite lethal because of its asymptomatic early stages and inability to detect cancer at the cellular level. Once diagnosed, the cancer will have usually spread or metastasized beyond surgical resection. Thus, research is focused on finding potential biomarkers in tumor cell lines to help in earlier diagnosis of this disease leading to better treatment options. Previous work using bioinformatics data suggest several cellular genes including, CTHCR1, EPPK1, AHNAK2, and IGHG3, can be potential biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. The goal of this project was to determine if protein expression of these genes was altered in a variety of human pancreatic tumor cell lines. Protein isolation and quantification followed by Western blot analysis was used. Our results showed a statistically significant increase of CTHCR1 protein expression in SW 1990, a pancreatic tumor cell line, compared to the HPDE-6 control cell line. This data adds to the current evidence that CTHCR1 can act as a prospective pancreatic cancer biomarker. There was also increased CTHCR1 protein expression in four other human pancreatic tumorigenic cell lines, but they were not found statistically significant. EPPK1 was another potential biomarker studied; however, its large molecular weight was a challenge and caused insufficient transfer of proteins. No bands were visualized.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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