Using a new blood test for pancreatic cancer alongside the current blood test may improve early detection and help screen people at high risk for the deadly disease, researchers say.

The combination approach detects 70% of pancreatic cancers with a less than 5% false-positive rate, according to the team led by scientists at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“We hope that our new test, when used in conjunction with the currently available test, will help doctors catch and treat pancreatic cancer in high-risk individuals before the disease has spread,” study senior author Brian Haab said in an institute news release.

Because it often doesn’t cause obvious early symptoms, pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose. In many cases, the cancer is at an advanced stage by the time it’s discovered. Only 8.5% of patients survive past five years.

Both blood tests measure levels of sugars produced by pancreatic cancer cells. The sugar measured by the new test – sTRA – is produced by a different subset of pancreatic cancers than CA-19-9, the sugar measured by the existing test.

Read more: https://www.health24.com/Medical/Cancer/Pancreatic-cancer/adding-blood-test-for-pancreatic-cancer-may-help-early-detection-20190204

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