A new blood test offers the hope of detecting early pancreatic cancer

News 12 July, 2017
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    Wednesday, 12 July, 2017 14:30

    Wednesday, 12 July, 2017 14:30

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    A new blood test could detect pancreatic cancer in the early stages of development, offering a hope of more effectively treat this aggressive tumor diagnosed most often too late, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

    “Having a bio-marker for this disease can radically change the outlook for these patients,” says Dr. Ken Zaret, director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

    “Early detection of tumors has had a major impact in reducing mortality of many types of cancers including colon, breast, and cervix”, tip-t-it.

    “But unfortunately people with pancreatic cancer are often diagnosed too late to be operated on and treated effectively,” adds the researcher.

    Currently, four out of five patients die within twelve months after the diagnosis and only 5% are alive after five years.

    In the United States, each year, more than 53 000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This tumor is the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality.

    To find these blood biomarkers, the researchers have used the technology of stem cells with pancreatic cells of a patient suffering from advanced cancer of this organ.

    They are somehow reassembled in the time to recreate some of the cancer cells early. And were thus able to detect blood biomarkers associated with different stages of disease progression.

    One of its biological markers –thrombospondin-2 (THBS2)– combined with another bio-marker in blood (CA19-9) this last stage of pancreatic cancer, “has allowed us to identify systematically and correctly all the stages of cancer,” says Dr. Zaret.

    The association of these two bio-markers “identified the early phases of tumor development more effectively than all other methods known to this day”, he adds.

    This new blood test is intended especially for people with a family history of pancreatic cancer, a genetic predisposition to developing disease or developing diabetes, adult-onset (type 2) after 50 years