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Simple intestinal probe may detect pancreatic cancer

Posted by: Research 30 May 2012

Preliminary study suggests possible use of a less invasive endoscope to screen patients for early development of pancreatic cancer.

In a small study, physicians at the Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have been able to detect pancreatic cancer 100 percent of the time. They did this by simply shining a tiny light within the small intestine, close to that organ's junction with the pancreas. The light, attached to a probe, measures changes in cells and blood vessels in the small intestine produced by a growing cancer in the adjoining pancreas.


The technique, which is minimally invasive, is called Polarisation Gating Spectroscopy and due to the success of this small study Mayo Clinic researchers will now test this in a much larger international clinical trial.

The findings were highlighted in a special address by the Mayo Clinic at the international Digestive Week 2012, the world's largest gathering of physicians and researchers who treat, and study, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Source: Mayo Clinic