At the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco (19-21 January) a research team led by Dr David Gold from the Garden State Cancer Centre in New Jersey presented initial results for a new blood-based biomarker test which shows great promise for detecting early stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
As well as publishing these results when finalised in a peer reviewed journal the next steps will be to use the test to screen people who are considered to be at a high risk of developiong pancreatic cancer to see if they can be diagnosed early enough to give them the chance of curative surgery and treatment. They will look at people with chronic pancreatitis, sudden onset diabetes and those with a history of PDAC.
Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said: "This research promises another important step forward with the difficult job of detecting pancreatic cancer early enough to offer more patients the chance of potentially curative treatment. We would like to see the next phase of this research include people in the UK and encourage research groups with an interest to contact the research team to explore the opportunities for this. Further, it might be possible to use the test in combination with the recently announced QResearch algorithm for identifying patients in primary care with suspected pancreatic cancer"
For more detail see the ASCO press release