A study entitled “Identification of a Three-Biomarker Panel in Urine for Early Detection of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma” was published in the biomedical journal Clinical Cancer Research on August 1, 2015 and has picked up some media attention as describing a potential novel early detection tool. However, it is important to note that the results published in the paper are preliminary, and additional research would be necessary to determine if the researchers’ strategy could diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier or more effectively than current methods. Please click here to understand the process necessary to identify and validate an early detection strategy for this challenging disease.

The research team, located primarily in London, analyzed urine samples from patients with pancreatic cancer or chronic inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis and compared the samples to those from healthy individuals. They found that the amount of three proteins in the urine of pancreatic cancer patients was different from levels of these proteins in samples from healthy subjects. While urine analysis represents a novel, noninvasive strategy to potentially detect disease, the study’s results would need to be verified in a prospective, or forward-looking, study before becoming an early detection strategy.

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