About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Newly Developed Genetic Test Can Detect and Treat Pancreatic Cancer

by Hannah Joy on October 3, 2017 at 2:04 PM
Font : A-A+

Newly Developed Genetic Test Can Detect and Treat Pancreatic Cancer

A highly sensitive genetic test developed aids in guiding physicians to test pancreatic cysts before the surgery. The test called PancreaSeq® determines as to which of the pancreatic cysts could be linked to the most aggressive types of pancreatic cancer, reveals a new study.

UPMC and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists reported in Gut, the journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology. The successful results are a critical step toward a precision medicine approach to detecting and treating pancreatic cancer, which has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers.

Advertisement


Pancreatic cysts are small pockets of fluid in the pancreas and are increasingly detected on medical scans by happenstance. For the most part, the cysts are benign. But because some can progress to pancreatic cancer, doctors must determine whether it is surgically necessary to remove the cysts.

"On the one hand, you never want to subject a patient to unneeded surgery. But survival rates for pancreatic cancer are much better if it is caught before symptoms arise, so you also don't want to ignore an early warning sign," said lead author Aatur D. Singhi, M.D., Ph.D., a surgical pathologist in the UPMC Division of Anatomic Pathology.
Advertisement

"This rapid, sensitive test will be useful in guiding physicians on which patients would most benefit from surgery."

Singhi and his team at UPMC developed PancreaSeq®, which requires a small amount of fluid removed from the cyst to test for 10 different tumor genes associated with pancreatic cancer. It was the first such prospective study, testing pancreatic cysts before surgery, rather than analyzing cysts after surgery as had been done by previous efforts.

The study, funded in part by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and The National Pancreas Foundation, also was the first to evaluate a test that employed a more sensitive genetic sequencing method called next-generation sequencing and the first to be performed in a certified and accredited clinical laboratory as opposed to a research setting.

"This was important to us," said Singhi. "If PancreaSeq is going to be used to make clinical decisions, then it needed to be evaluated in a clinical setting in real time, with all the pressures that go with a clinical diagnosis."

In this analysis phase, the test was not intended to be used as the sole factor in determining whether to remove the cyst or not, so doctors relied on current guidelines when deciding on a course of treatment.

A total of 595 patients were tested, and the team followed up with analysis of surgically removed cysts, available for 102 of the patients, to evaluate the accuracy of the test.

The study showed that with 100 percent accuracy, PancreaSeq correctly classified every patient in the evaluation group who had intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), a common precursor to pancreatic cancer based on the presence of mutations in two genes, KRAS and GNAS.

Furthermore, by analyzing mutations in three additional genes, the test also identified the cysts that would eventually progress to being cancerous lesions, also with 100 percent accuracy.

The test was less accurate for the less prevalent pancreatic cyst type called mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN) catching only 30 percent of the cases. Importantly, PancreaSeq did not identify any false positives in either cyst type, making it a highly specific test.

The researchers noted that the results could be biased by choice of which patients had their cysts surgically removed, but plan to monitor those who did not have their cysts removed to continue evaluation of the test's reliability.

An improved version of PancreaSeq that incorporates additional tumor genes associated with pancreatic cancer currently is undergoing rigorous clinical testing, according to Singhi. In the future, the team notes, clinical guidelines will need to be revisited to explore incorporating tests like PancreaSeq.

The PancreaSeq test currently is available to patients and ordered through UPMC.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Black Pepper as Preventive Measure Against Omicron
FODMAP Diet: A Beginner's Guide
Smallpox
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Pancreatic Cancer Cancer and Homeopathy Genetics and Stem Cells Undescended Testicles Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Varicocele Pancreatitis Testicle Pain - Symptom Evaluation 

Recommended Reading
Pancreas Transplantation
Pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure involving the replacement of a dysfunctional pancreas .....
Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often involves its exocrine part. It grows aggressively, and often detected late. ...
Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas may show up as acute pancreatitis or chronic pain. ......
Diabetes
A comprehensive article on diabetes - both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including : causes, signs, .....
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...
Testicle Pain - Symptom Evaluation
A sudden, severe pain in the testis may be due to testicular torsion. Testicles inside the scrotum a...
Undescended Testicles
An undescended testicle / testis is one that has not descended into the scrotal sac before birth. It...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use