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Blood Test for Earlier Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Feasible

Test uses chip technology that analyzes circulating tumor-derived extracellular vesicles

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THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A new blood test has been developed for identifying pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) -- a step that might eventually allow earlier diagnosis, according to a study published in the May 24 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

The test uses a chip technology that analyzes circulating tumor-derived extracellular vesicles, or EVs. The research team found that those containing a signature of five specific proteins were a good marker of PDAC.

The team used blood samples from 43 patients who'd undergone surgery for either PDAC or noncancerous conditions, including pancreatitis. The scientists found that testing for the five proteins detected PDAC with a sensitivity of 86 percent and a specificity of 81 percent.

"The PDAC-EV signature of tEVs offered higher sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy than the existing serum marker (CA 19-9) or singlet-EV marker analyses," the authors write. "This approach should improve the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer."

The study authors are listed as inventors on a patent application covering technology used in the research. Two authors are consultants to Exosome Diagnostics, which licensed the patent application.

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