Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest cancers, with five-year survival rates of 9%. We hypothesized that secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) may influence stromal growth in pancreatic cancer, since it increases fibrosis and collagen production in non-neoplastic pathologies. We assessed SFRP2 value as a biomarker and assessed its function in PDAC. SFRP2 gene expression in patients with PDAC was analyzed using TCGA data. Disease free survival (DFS) was analyzed using Kaplan Meier test. The effect of KRAS inhibition on SFRP2 expression in PDAC cells was assessed. The associations of stromal content with SFPR2 mRNA and protein with fibrosis were analyzed. The role of SFRP2 in mesenchymal transformation was assessed by western blot in fibroblasts. Of all cancers in TCGA, SFRP2 levels were highest in PDAC, and higher in PDAC than normal tissues (n= 234, p= 0.0003). High SFRP2 levels correlated with decreased DFS (p= 0.0097). KRAS inhibition reduced SFRP2 levels. Spearman correlation was 0.81 between stromal RNA and SFRP2 in human PDAC, and 0.75 between fibrosis and SFRP2 levels in PDAC tumors. SFRP2-treated fibroblasts displayed mesenchymal characteristics. SFRP2 is prognostic for PDAC survival, regulated by KRAS, and associated with PDAC fibrosis.

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