Tests may detect mesothelioma, pancreatic cancer

Quoted from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68R5T220100928

Tests may detect mesothelioma, pancreatic cancer

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO | Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:28pm EDT

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. researchers have discovered specific changes in the blood of patients with two deadly cancers that may allow doctors to diagnose them at an earlier stage.

Using new screening technology developed by privately held Somalogic Inc, company researchers said on Tuesday they could detect early signs of pancreatic cancer and a type of lung cancer called mesothelioma in people who had been diagnosed but not treated for the diseases.

“Currently these cancers are detected at an advanced stage, where the possibility of cure is minimal,” said Rachel Ostroff, clinical research director of Somalogic Inc, who presented the findings on Tuesday at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Denver.

“Detection of these aggressive cancers at an earlier stage would identify patients for early treatment, which may improve their survival and quality of life.”

Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, but it is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Mesothelioma, caused by asbestos, kills an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people per year worldwide.

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