Researchers at the University of California – San Diego have developed a simple blood test that shows promise for detecting signs of pancreatic cancer earlier, when the disease may be more treatable.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is just 8.5 percent, and it is expected to be the second deadliest cancer in the United States by 2030. Cancer of the pancreas is usually diagnosed at an advanced, difficult-to-treat stage. Developing blood tests to detect cancer – sometimes called liquid biopsies – is an important part of cancer research.
This new test uses an electronic chip-based system to detect pancreatic cancer biomarkers, called exosomes, which are extremely small and fragile and difficult to isolate. In a small study involving 31 people, this test identified pancreatic cancer markers in as little as a drop of blood in the 20 study participants with the disease.
Diane is a Senior Content Producer at Remedy Health Media, LLC. She writes the Daily Dose for HealthCentral and is the editorial director at HealthCommunities. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online.