Blood Test Showed 97% Accuracy for Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer Detection

Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer Detection
Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer Detection. Credit | Shutterstock

United States: Cancer in the pancreas was shown to be detected in early stages with more than 90 percent accuracy on the basis of blood samples.

More about the finding

The test is going to search for the eight small RNA particles and eight larger DNA markers transmitted by pancreatic cancerous lesions, which in together form a genetic “signature” for the disease, according to the researchers.

.Presently, early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is difficult, usually only noticeable after a disease advances. Moreover, the organ is located deep in the abdomen, and the cancers may actually mimic some diseases that manifest in similar symptoms to other primary diseases.

According to Ajay Goel, the senior researcher and chair of molecular diagnostics and experimental therapeutics at City of Hope Cancer Center, “Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal malignancies, in large part because the majority of patients are diagnosed only after the cancer has already metastasized,” as the US News reported.

Essential findings about the blood test diagnosis

Visual Representation of Pancreatic Cancer. Credit | Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

The five-year survival rate for patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer is 44 percent, but it drops to 3 percent in the secondary stage, when it has spread elsewhere in the body, scientists found.

In an initial trial of this blood test in 95 patients from the US and Japan, the detection rate was reported at 98 percent.

In the latest trial, 523 participants from Japan, the US, South Korea as well as China were involved with pancreatic cancer, and 461 were healthy individuals from the given countries.

In the blood tests, researchers found that:

  • There were 93 percent of pancreatic cancers among the US participants.
  • Ninety-one percent of it was among the South Koreans.
  • Eighty-eight percent is found in the Chinese group.

According to US News reports, when researchers paired the blood test with a test for the CA 19-9 cancer marker, which was the only tumor marker known for pancreatic cancer until recently, the accuracy of detection in stage 1 and 2 cancers among US participants went up to 97 percent.

Stage I of this cancer is localized to the pancreas only, and stage II shows that the lymph nodes located near the organ have seen the spread of cancer. However, the rest of the body still remains free of it.

According to Goel, “Our approach offers a liquid biopsy test superior to CA19-9 measurement alone for early-stage disease,” as US News reported.

Also, as per the researchers, more research is required to fill the gap of knowledge regarding the test before it can be used for general practice.