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Home Industry News Biomarker discovery opens door for pancreatic cancer blood test

Biomarker discovery opens door for pancreatic cancer blood test

29th October 2014

A blood test for diagnosing pancreatic cancer could be a step closer thanks to a new biomarker discovery by Indiana University researchers.

The team of scientists have identified several microRNAs – small RNA molecules – that circulate at high levels in the blood of pancreatic cancer patients. Increased expression of miRNA-10b, 155 and 106b in plasma was shown to be highly accurate in diagnosing pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the most common type of pancreatic malignancy.

Based on these findings, the team now seeks to create a blood test to screen individuals who are at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer, while also identifying other additional markers.

Dr Murray Korc, professor of cancer research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said the team aims to look at "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".

This could be an important advance, as pancreatic cancer is currently extremely difficult to detect due to a lack of noticeable signs or symptoms in its early stages.

Around 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year, making it the 11th most common form of the disease.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801757319-ADNFCR

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