Friday, June 26, 2015

Blood Test May Be Used To Detect Pancreatic Cancer In Its Early Stages

On NBC Nightly News (6/24, story 8, 1:35, Holt), NBC’s Anne Thompson reported that “a study in the journal Nature says a blood test may be the answer to identifying” pancreatic cancer “in its early stages.”
        The Houston Chronicle (6/25, Hawryluk) reports that researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center “found that the presence of” a particular “protein could distinguish with 100 percent accuracy whether patients had early stage pancreatic cancer or chronic pancreatitis, a major risk factor for the cancer.” The study indicated that “levels of the protein were markedly lower after surgical removal of a patient’s tumors.”
        On its website, NBC News (6/25, Carroll) reports that the “protein turns up in tiny virus-sized particles, called exosomes, which are excreted by all of the body’s cell.” This protein, however, “turns up in exosomes only when there is cancer, so its presence could be an early, and testable, marker for the disease.”
        The Los Angeles Times (6/25, Healy) “Science Now” blog reports that “the finding ‘offers the possibility for early detection of pancreatic cancer and help in designing potential curative surgical options,’ the authors...wrote.” HealthDay (6/25, Norton) also covers the story.
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