Study For Early Pancreatic Cancer Screening To Begin

DETROIT (WWJ) – Last year, more than 40,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At Henry Ford Hospital, Dr. Ann Silverman says unlike breast, skin and colon cancers, there’s currently no early screening blood test for Pancreatic cancer.

WWJ’s Pat Sweeting reports that researchers at Henry Ford Health System and the Karmanos Cancer Institute are working on developing an early screening test for pancreatic cancer.

“If you have two first degree family members (a parent or sibling or child) you have about a 20 time higher risk of pancreatic cancer,” says Dr. Silverman.

She says that risk increases to 50% if three members of your family have pancreatic cancer.

When caught early, pancreatic cancer is curable. On April 16th at Henry Ford Medical Center in Novi, researchers will be enrolling participants in a  study aimed at developing an early screening blood test.

“I’m working in collaboration with Michael Taenski  at Karmanos and he has developed a technique to identify blood markers — these are antibodies in serum that react with proteins from the cancer,” Dr. Silverman says.

Dr. Silverman says that doctors have a tough time screening for the disease, since the organ is behind the stomach and in front of the spine. Doctors would like to develop a new test that is non-invasive, not expensive, and that has a very high sensitivity and specificity.

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