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Blood Test for Pancreatic Cancer

By    |   Tuesday, 28 October 2014 06:23 PM

Indiana University cancer researchers have determined that a simple blood test might one day be used to help diagnose pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly, hard-to-treat forms of the disease.

In research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Murray Korc, M.D., found that levels of certain small molecules — known as mciroRNAs — are higher in the blood of pancreatic cancer patients.

“This is a new finding that extends previous knowledge in this field,” Dr. Korc said. “The key new feature here is that there is a panel of microRNAs that can be measured accurately in the plasma component of blood to determine if a patient has pancreatic cancer.”
 
Dr. Korc and his colleagues made the discovery by examining plasma, bile, and pancreatic juice from 215 patients either immediately before or during an endoscopy.
 
 “It may be possible to use a blood test to screen individuals who are at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer,” Dr. Korc said. “We are planning to conduct such studies. It will be important to identify additional markers and to assess how useful a panel of such markers would be for the early diagnosis of this cancer. Based on our findings, this test could also be useful to differentiate between pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis.”
 
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of the disease, in part because it is has no symptoms in early stages and is usually caught only after it has spread to other parts of the body, making it harder to treat. Only 6 percent of people with the disease survive more than five years after diagnosis. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 46,400 new cases of pancreatic cancer and nearly 40,000 deaths are reported every year.
 
This research was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

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Researchers have determined that a simple blood test might one day be used to help diagnose pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly, hard-to-treat forms of the disease.
pancreatic, cancer, blood, test
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2014-23-28
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 06:23 PM
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