A blood test for four small molecules abnormally expressed in pancreatic cancer may be a promising route to early detection of the disease, says Subrata Sen, Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Molecular Pathology and senior author on the study that provided this discovery.
Sen and colleagues are working with the Early Detection Research Network of the National Cancer Institute. Their goal is to develop expanded studies with larger sample sizes that will test the molecular markers associated with different grades and stages of pancreatic cancer.
Currently, there is no accurate, non-invasive way to detect the disease, the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Fewer than 5% of patients survive five years.
Reported in the September 2009 edition of the journal Cancer Prevention Research.