Urine test detects pancreatic cancer – A simple lab urine test could detect pancreatic cancer at an early-stage to avoid deadly outcome of the disease.
Scientists have found a protein marker only present in people suffering from pancreatic cancer. They hope that the test could be possible to diagnose patients much earlier and offer them treatment.
A study performed by a team of researchers at Barts Cancer Institute found that three protein markers can identify the most common form of pancreatic cancer. During the study, they examined 488 urine samples: 192 from known pancreatic cancer patients, 92 from patients with chronic pancreatitis and 87 from healthy individuals. And the rest of the 117 samples from patients with other benign and malignant liver and gall bladder conditions were also tested.
Three proteins – LYVE1, REG1A and TFF1 were present at much higher levels in the pancreatic cancer patients. The evidence of above three protein markers in the urine sample could serve as a biochemical marker to identify the disease. On the other hand, same three proteins were found in lower levels in patients with chronic pancreatitis.
“It’s really exciting because for the first time we might be able to bring forward the window of opportunity for patients with pancreatic cancer,” said Nick Lemoine, professor at Barts Cancer Institute.
Pancreatic cancer is the seventh most common cause of deaths worldwide and pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most common form of the disease, which counts for about 85 % of cases. More than 90 % of sufferers die from pancreatic cancer due to its late-stage diagnosis.
The most common signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, jaundice, unexplained weight loss, light-colored stools, dark urine and loss of appetite. Although the cause of pancreatic adenocarcinoma is not known but the most common risk factors include tobacco smoking, obesity, diabetes and family history of the cancer. IMAGE/theguardian