Sep
19
2009

Pancreatic cancer detection

Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic CancerCourtesy jasoneppink

Patrick Swayze dies from pancreatic cancer

A close friend of mine died from pancreatic cancer last year. Last week Patrick Swayze died from pancreatic cancer. Approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. Nearly all of them will die within a year of its discovery. My friend had less than 3 months. With pancreatic cancer, by the time you supect something is wrong, it is too late.

Earlier cancer detection needed

What is needed is a test to detect cancer early from a urine, saliva, or blood sample. I recently wrote about a Lung cancer breathalyzer test.

MicroRNA in body fluids provides early cancer detection

A similar approach might work for pancreatic and other types of cancer. Certain small pieces of genetic code called microRNA have been associated with various cancers.

For pancreatic cancer, scientists have cataloged dozens of microRNAs whose levels are different than in healthy samples.
Out of the dozens of choices, researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center picked four microRNAs to measure. Not only did the group detect these microRNAs circulating in the blood, they found their levels were higher in the blood of pancreatic cancer patients compared with healthy control subjects. Their results were published last week in Cancer Prevention Research. Scientific American

Learn more about microRNA markers for pancreatic cancer

MicroRNAs in Blood May be Biomarkers of Pancreatic Cancer National Institue of Health

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