The clinical and translational research conducted by Shounak Majumder, M.D., focuses on early detection of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Majumder's research aims to develop a blood-based liquid biopsy test for early detection of pancreatic cancer in different at-risk patient groups.
In preliminary studies, Dr. Majumder's research group has identified novel methylated DNA biomarkers in pancreatic tissue that are highly associated with pancreatic cancer. His team is actively engaged in developing these diagnostic molecular biomarker tests in blood, pancreatic juice and cyst fluid, with the aim of accurately detect advanced pre-cancer and early-stage pancreatic cancer. Prospective studies to validate early results for these biomarkers are currently underway at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Majumder is also leading a team of researchers developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools for early detection of pancreatic cancer.
- Pancreatic cancer detection using circulating tumor markers (PREDICT study). The primary aim in this study is to develop and validate a prediction algorithm for detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which is the most common type of pancreatic cancer, using a novel blood-based biomarker assay. Building on results of previous tissue and pilot plasma testing, Dr. Majumder and colleagues are testing a panel of candidate plasma methylated DNA markers alone and in combination with CA 19-9 in patients with PDAC and control patients without PDAC.
- Molecular detection of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs). Dr. Majumder has identified and validated methylated DNA marker candidates in pancreatic tissue that differentiate patients with pNETs from controls without these tumors. A select group of candidate tissue markers is currently being explored for plasma testing.
- Molecular detection of advanced neoplasia in pancreatic cysts (IN-CYST study). This study aims to prospectively collect blood, stool and cyst fluid from patients with worrisome or high-risk pancreatic cysts who have increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. The primary aim is to validate a panel of biomarkers in cyst fluid to identify those with high-grade dysplasia and cancer and those at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer in the future.
- Machine learning for accurate identification of individuals at high risk of pancreatic cancer. Individuals at high risk of pancreatic cancer may benefit from screening for early detection, but best approaches to identifying high-risk individuals and modalities of screening need to be better defined. In this study, Dr. Majumder and his team will develop and implement natural language processing algorithms that accurately identify individuals at high risk of pancreatic cancer based on clinical note text and laboratory values in the electronic medical record.
- A prospective registry for patients at high-risk for pancreatic cancer. Individuals with genetic and familial risk factors for pancreatic cancer can chose to participate in this registry. The registry is designed to prospectively follow a cohort of high-risk individuals (HRIs) who have been determined to be at greater than average lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer, with the aim to establish a bank of biospecimens (blood and pancreatic fluid) obtained from HRIs for developing tests that detect pancreatic cancer at an early, treatable stage and also establish a library of medical images obtained from HRIs that includes radiology, endoscopy and pathology images for developing AI-based imaging tools that detect pancreatic cancer at an early, treatable stage.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Majumder's goal of discovery and validation of molecular biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic cancer will result in better outcomes for patients. Earlier detection of pancreatic cancer results in more-effective treatment and better survival rates. Dr. Majumder also leads the High-Risk Pancreas Clinic at Mayo Clinic, a highly specialized clinic for pancreatic cancer screening and surveillance in individuals with a genetic or familial predisposition to pancreatic cancer.
- Program director, Mayo Clinic Medical Pancreatology Fellowship, 2021-present
- Transform the Practice Award, Mayo Clinic, 2020-2021
- Editorial board member, Pancreas, 2019-present
- Member, American Pancreatic Association, 2014-present
- Career Enhancement Award, Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer SPORE, 2018
- Pilot and Feasibility Award, Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology, 2018
- Mayo Clinic Scholar, 2017-2018
- J. Arnold Bargen Research Award, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, 2017
- William H. J. Summerskill Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2017
- John Bolan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Ambulatory Care, University of Connecticut, 2013
- Ralph F. Reinfrank, M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Connecticut, 2013
- Intern of the Year Award, University of Connecticut, 2011