Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method can diagnose feared pancreatic cancer

Date:
March 21, 2014
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Pancreatic cancer is often detected at a late stage, which results in poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Researchers have now developed a method that identifies the cancer’s visible precursors with 97% certainty. The method, which is expected to aid in the early discovery of the cancer as well as minimize the risk of unnecessary surgery, may be introduced in patient care within five years.

Pancreatic cancer is often detected at a late stage, which results in poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Researchers at The University od Gothenburg, Sweden, have now developed a method which identifies the cancer's visible precursors with 97% certainty. The method, which is expected to aid in the early discovery of the cancer as well as minimize the risk of unnecessary surgery, may be introduced in patient care within five years.

The poor prognosis for pancreatic cancer, where only 5 percent of the patients survive five years after the diagnosis, is due to the fact that the tumors often develop unnoticed, and rarely cause symptoms until they have spread to other organs. Recent studies, however, have shown that fluid-filled compartments in the pancreas, called cysts, may be precursors of the cancer.

Hard to identify harmful cysts

Cysts in the pancreas, which are found in every 10th person above the age of 70, and are also common in younger people, can be discovered with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The problem is that imaging alone cannot determine which cysts are at risk for developing into cancer. Therefore, it often becomes necessary to puncture the cyst and look for tumor markers in the cyst fluid but not even these analyses are reliable.

Removing the cyst by surgery, with the knowledge that it may turn out to be completely benign, is also problematic since the operation is extensive, with considerable risks for the patient.

97 percent certainty

Researchers at The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have now developed a method which can predict with 97 percent certainty which pancreatic cysts constitute precursors to cancer. With this method, which detects the presence of mucus protein, mucins, in the cystic fluid, the researchers were able to reach the correct diagnosis in 77 of 79 cysts that were examined.

"This is an exceptionally good result for a diagnostic test, and we are very hopeful that the method will enable more instances of early discovery of pancreatic cancer, at a stage when the cancer can be treated or prevented. This approach may also minimize the risk of unnecessary operations on non-malignant cysts," said Karolina Jabbar, PhD student at The Sahlgrenska Academy and physician at The Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Helps operation decisions

The researchers have also tested the new method in order to analyze existing tumors and, with about 90 percent certainty, have been able to determine which tumors have already developed into cancers. This means that the method could also be used to determine which patients require immediate surgery, and when it is instead possible to wait and monitor the development of the cyst.

The method which has been used in the study is called proteomics, which means the analysis of the protein content of a tissue or fluid with the help of mass spectrometry . This method has thus far been used in research. But Professor Gunnar C. Hansson who, together with senior physician and Assistant Professor Riadh Sadik, initiated the study, is convinced that the proteomics will soon be introduced in health care.

"The technique has been developed, and we can now measure biomarkers both quickly and exactly. Moreover, the method requires minimal biomaterial, in this case 25 times less cyst fluid than conventional tumor marker analyses. I am certain that within five years the mass spectrometers will have moved into the hospital corridors," he said.

The article has been published in the cancer journal, Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Krister Svahn. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. S. Jabbar, C. Verbeke, A. G. Hyltander, H. Sjovall, G. C. Hansson, R. Sadik. Proteomic Mucin Profiling for the Identification of Cystic Precursors of Pancreatic Cancer. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2014; 106 (2): djt439 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djt439

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "New method can diagnose feared pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321101603.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2014, March 21). New method can diagnose feared pancreatic cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321101603.htm
University of Gothenburg. "New method can diagnose feared pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321101603.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins