[CBS] Scientists detect early sign of pancreatic cancer

September 30, 2014

Researchers say they’ve identified a sign of early development of pancreatic cancer. (AP)

[CBS] Researchers say they’ve identified a sign of early development of pancreatic cancer, a leading cause of cancer death. And, they add, their discovery might lead one day to a new test to detect the disease in its initial and more treatable stages.

The early sign is an increase in levels of certain amino acids, and this occurs before patients develop symptoms and the disease is typically diagnosed.

The finding came from analyses of blood samples from 1,500 people taking part in large health-tracking studies.

“We found that higher levels of branched chain amino acids were present in people who went on to develop pancreatic cancer, compared to those who did not develop the disease,” study co-senior author Dr. Brian Wolpin, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said in an institute news release. [READ MORE]

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