What is the role of cancer antigen (CA) 19-9 in screening for pancreatic cancer?
Paul Moayyedi: Because pancreatic cancer mercifully is still very rare in the general population, the positive predictive value [of CA 19-9] is actually very poor. It is not a useful screening test at this stage.
Of course, as you alluded to in the last question [see Screening tests for pancreatic cancer], if we can find a biomarker that is more sensitive and specific, then perhaps that will change in the future. As of now, we would not recommend screening the general population.