Researchers from the USA have now found certain changes associated with the blood of patients suffering from two different types of deadly carcinoma. This discovery can prove to be significant as it allows doctors to detect the disease much earlier.
A new technique was used by the privately held company Somalogic Inc’s researchers which allowed them to detect the early signs of pancreatic as well as a specific type of lung cancer, known as mesothelioma, in people who had been diagnosed but had not started on their treatment yet. The findings were presented at the Denver Research meeting of the ‘American Association for Cancer’. Somalogic Inc’s Clinical Research Director, Rachel Ostroff, expressed the hope that an early detection might lead to an increased survival rate with an overall improvement in the quality of life as well.
While carcinoma of the pancreas is rare, it is the fourth deadliest type of cancer that kills people across USA. Mesothelioma, on the other hand, is caused by asbestos and is known to be the cause of death for an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people worldwide, every year.
The technology detects the disease by examining the protein present in a blood drop. The study involved testing patients diagnosed with both the types of cancer and also those who suffer from pancreatitis or lung fibrosis, two conditions which mimic the symptoms of these particular types of cancer.
The research team looked for biomarkers which differentiated between the blood of the patients with cancer and those without. Ostroff said that that the biological markers had been highly specific leading to an accurate detection of each type of cancer. Further studies are now required to corroborate the results and see whether they can be used as diagnostic tests. Ostroff admitted that while the biomarkers could be easily detected it would be slightly more difficult to validate them. She also stated that her team would take all necessary precautions by ignoring the false positives and take all other related parameters into consideration for detecting the diseased biomarkers.