February 24, 2018 |
Urine Test Might Find Pancreatic Cancer Early, Study Suggests
August 21, 2015  | 

London, ENG - Scientists report that they have developed a urine test that may detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage.

Usually, symptoms of this deadly disease do not appear until it is at an advanced stage and has spread, and little can be done to save the patient. Researchers have been looking for a way to screen people for pancreatic cancer in the hopes that early detection might lead to effective treatment.

"If this test proves to be as good as we hope, we could make an important difference and enable early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer completely noninvasively, using urine samples," said lead researcher Dr. Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic, a reader in cancer genomics at the Centre for Molecular Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute of Queen Mary University of London.

The team found three indicators ("markers") that, when combined, signal the beginnings of pancreatic cancer.

"This is important since if this cancer is detected early, patients can undergo surgery, which greatly increases the survival," she said. "At present, patients are diagnosed with cancer that has already spread and survival is typically three to six months."

The report was published Aug. 3 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

For the study, funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, a British charity, researchers analyzed 488 urine samples, including 192 from patients with pancreatic cancer, 92 from patients with chronic pancreatitis and 87 from healthy people. In addition, they looked at 117 urine samples from patients with diseases of the liver and gall bladder. These samples were used to confirm their findings. Continue>

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