Researchers Develop Urine Test for Pancreatic Cancer

August 4, 2015

Researchers at Barts Cancer Institute report three proteins found at high levels in urine can accurately detect early stage pancreatic cancer and could lead to a non-invasive, inexpensive test to screen people at risk of developing the disease.

The researchers said the three-protein “signature” can distinguish the cancer from chronic pancreatitis.

The study published in Clinical Cancer Research studied 488 urine samples —192 from patients known to have pancreatic cancer, 92 from chronic pancreatitis patients and 87 from healthy volunteers. Urine from another 117 patients with other benign or malignant liver and gall bladder conditions were used to validate the study.

The researchers said the protein test can detect patients with stages 1 or 2 pancreatic cancer with 90 percent accuracy. Because the cancer has few specific symptoms more than 80 percent of those suffering from the disease are diagnosed after the cancer has spread. — John Bechtel