Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease. Usually by the time it’s diagnosed, it’s already reached an advanced stage. But now British researchers have announced that they’ve discovered several bio-markers that could lead to early detection.
Researchers at the Bart’s Cancer Institute in London have just published their findings in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. They say that they’ve identified 3 proteins that when found together in high amounts in the urine are an indicator of stage 1 or 2 pancreatic cancer, And they are reporting an accuracy rate of 90%.
Considering that pancreatic cancer doesn’t present symptoms in its early stages, could this be the diagnostic medical breakthrough the medical community has been waiting for?
In comparing urine samples from healthy patients versus those with pancreatic cancer, the study found that patients with pancreatic cancer had much higher levels of the proteins LYVE1, REGIA and TFF1. Those with chronic pancreatitis–long term inflammation of the pancreas–had lower levels of the proteins, but higher than healthy individuals.
Dr. Tatjana Ornogonic-Jurcevkc, the lead researcher, expressed the hope that a “simple, inexpensive test can be developed and be in clinical use within the next few years.”
In the meantime, the researchers would also like to test the urine of those who are genetically at high risk for pancreatic cancer and see if they too have higher levels of the 3 proteins.