NOVI (WWJ) – Henry Ford Health System is holding a special blood draw for those interested in participating in a study to develop a screening test for pancreatic cancer.

The study, launched last month by Henry Ford Health System and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, aims to develop a rapid and inexpensive blood screening test for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

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There are currently 150 people enrolled in the study but Henry Ford hopes to recruit 300 volunteers.

To help meet this goal, a blood draw event will be held from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday, April 16 at the Henry Ford Medical Center — 39450 W. 12 Mile Rd., Novi.

Currently there is no available blood test for pancreatic cancer that is either sensitive or specific enough for early diagnosis. The objective of this research study is to develop a noninvasive blood test by identifying useful markers of cancer in the blood of high risk individuals and cancer patients.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 36,800 people died of pancreatic cancer annually and more than 43,000 new cases of the disease were diagnosed in 2010.

Current diagnostic methods include CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, a needle biopsy or an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) test that uses an ultrasound machine on the end of an endoscope that is inserted into the stomach to directly evaluate the pancreas and remove tissue or fluid to be tested for cancer. These tests are expensive and therefore are not considered practical screening tests.

The study is being done in collaboration with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, where blood samples will undergo biomarker analysis. Researchers at Karmanos are leaders in the identification of circulation biomarkers for cancer in serum samples. 

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You may be eligible to participate if you meet the following criteria: you are at high risk of pancreatic cancer or have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

You are considered at high risk for pancreatic cancer if you have one of the following: one or more immediate family members (parent, sibling or child) with pancreatic cancer; hereditary pancreatitis; or a BRCA 2 gene mutation (gene mutation in families with high risk of breast cancer).

Participation in the study will require a single blood draw if you meet the criteria.

Patients who agree to volunteer and meet the eligibility requirements will need to complete a patient questionnaire and sign a consent form.

To participate in the Henry Ford/Karmanos Cancer Institute study, contact: Nicole Samuels at (248) 344-2358 or

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Funding for the study was provided by Sky Foundation, Inc., a local non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.