November 14, 2013
A test for pancreatic cancer may soon be on the way.
Researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry have inched closer to completing a saliva test, which will test for pancreatic cancer. The saliva test would look specifically for biomarkers associated with pancreatic cancer.
If this test ends up being approved, dentists would have the ability it to check for pancreatic cancer among patients.
Survival rates for pancreatic cancer patients are among the lowest of all cancer patients. Most pancreatic cancer patients die within only one year of being diagnosed. Only 6 percent live for more than five years after diagnosis.
Anything that enables medical personnel to detect pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage would be extremely beneficial.
To create this new test, the research team tested mice with pancreatic cancer and determined their saliva showed signs of biomarkers unique to pancreatic cancer. When the researchers sought to thwart exosomes at the source of the cancerous cells, the data demonstrated that the biomarkers were no longer present in saliva.