Thanks to private funding, 100% of every dollar donated to The Lustgarten Foundation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.
        

Study Shows Blood Test Can Detect 8 Types of Cancer

New CancerSEEK Test greater than 99% Specific for Pancreatic Cancer

One of the biggest challenges with treating pancreatic cancer is that in 80-85 percent of cases, it’s detected too late, leaving the patient with few options. Developing a blood screening test for pancreatic cancer has been an urgent goal of the Foundation, because catching the disease early will be the way we get to long-term survival.

Lustgarten Foundation funded researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins have designed a multi-analyte blood test that can detect the presence of pancreatic cancer as part of a panel of eight common cancers -- pancreas, ovary, liver, stomach, esophagus, colorectum, lung and breast. The test utilizes combined assays for genetic alterations and protein biomarkers and has the capacity not only to identify the presence of relatively early cancer, but also to localize the organ of origin of these cancers.

The test results for pancreatic cancer were very promising. The sensitivity of the detection method was 70% and the specificity was greater than 99%. Sensitivity and specificity are terms used to evaluate a clinical test. Sensitivity is the ability of a test to correctly identify those with the disease (true positive), whereas test specificity is the ability of the test to correctly identify those without the disease (true negative). New blood tests for cancer must have very high specificity; otherwise, too many healthy individuals will receive positive test results, leading to unnecessary follow-up procedures and anxiety.

This study lays the foundation for a single blood screening test for multiple cancers that could be offered as part of routine medical checks. The estimated cost for the test will eventually be less than $500, which is comparable to or lower than other screening tests for single cancers, such as a colonoscopy.

While this is a significant step forward, to validate the test and demonstrate that it can save lives, prospective studies of all cancer types in a large population will be required, which the Lustgarten Foundation is currently helping to fund.

Read the full press release.  Read the article in Science here.

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