Health, Zoomer Report
It’s a promising finding that could pave the way for an inexpensive non-invasive test to detect pancreatic cancer before it spreads. British researchers say a combination of three proteins in urine appears to be a good indicator of early stage disease.
There is no existing early diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer, which has the lowest five-year survival rate of all cancers, eight percent here in Canada.
The researchers studied urine samples taken from patients who had pancreatic cancer; patients who had chronic pancreatitis, which can be hard to distinguish from cancer; and a third group of healthy patients. They found they could identify stage I-II pancreatic cancer with 90 percent accuracy by the presence of high levels of three proteins in urine.
According to the study, patients with pancreatic cancer were found to have increased levels of each of the three proteins when compared to urine samples from healthy patients, while patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis had significantly lower levels than cancer patients.
Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed late because there are no early stage symptoms. A test could make a huge difference to survival rates. But these results are preliminary and much more research is needed to verify them.