According to a new research, this new blood test can quickly identify signs of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose at an early stage but the researchers at UC San Diego are confident that the test can successfully detect the disease.
“An important step towards being able to cure diseases that come out of nowhere, like pancreatic cancer, is an early detection,” said Jean Lewis, the first author of the study.
Also Read: What is Pancreatic Cancer?
“We envision that in the future, physicians might perform this type of test using a quick finger stick to diagnose patients who may not know they have the disease yet.”
Blood tests known as liquid biopsies have the potential to detect cancer without having to do invasive surgical procedures like tumour biopsies. Researchers are developing new methods that include collecting and analyzing nano-sized biological structures called exosomes – released from cells in the body, including cancer cells.
For the test, an electronic chip-based system is used to extract exosomes directly from blood in minutes. “We can use just a drop of blood as is—no extra processing required. We can also analyze the exosomes right there on the spot and show whether they carry any of the cancer biomarkers we are looking for,” said Lewis.
This test only requires a person to apply a drop of blood on a small electronic chip, turn the current on, wait several minutes, add fluorescent labels and look at the results under a microscope. If bright fluorescent circles appear, it means the results of the test are positive.
The team has tested this procedure on a small group of 31 patients, the chip was able to flag the blood samples of 20 patients with pancreatic cancer from those of 11 patients without cancer.
The study was published in the journal ACS Nano.
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