Queen Mary scientists discover revolutionary cancer breakthrough
It could save millions of lives
Super smart Queen Mary researchers have found a groundbreaking formula able to detect the deadliest cancer at an early-stage.
The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is a tiny three per cent- the lowest of any of the common cancers.
The remarkable discovery works through a urine test and is over 90 per cent accurate.
It could lead to an inexpensive way to screen people at high risk.
Currently, more than 80 per cent of people with the deadly disease get diagnosed after it has spread because the symptoms are so hard to detect.
This depressing figure has been the same for 40 years.
Queen Mary’s extraordinary development will allow people to get preventative treatment before it’s too late.
The new study found a unique ‘three protein signature’ in sufferers, which lets doctors identify those with stages one- two of the infection.
The revolutionary finding can distinguish between sufferers of the cancer and Inflammatory chronic pancreatitis, which have very similar symptoms.
Lead Queen Mary researcher Dr Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic said: “This is a biomarker panel with good specificity and sensitivity and we’re hopeful that a simple, inexpensive test can be developed and be in clinical use within the next few years.”
Professor Nick Lemoine, co-author and Director of Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London said: “For a cancer with no early stage symptoms, it’s a huge challenge to diagnose pancreatic cancer sooner, but if we can, then we can make a big difference to survival rates,
“With pancreatic cancer, patients are usually diagnosed when the cancer is already at a terminal stage.
“But if diagnosed at stage 2, the survival rate is 20 per cent, and at stage 1, the survival rate for patients with very small tumours can increase up to 60 per cent.”
CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, Maggie Blanks, said: “This is an exciting finding and we hope to see this research taken forward into a much needed early diagnostic test.
“Early diagnosis is an important part of our overall efforts against this aggressive cancer, alongside developing new treatments to tackle the disease once diagnosis is made.
“It underlines the importance of increased research efforts to help improve survival rates.”
The study was published in the journal of Clinical Cancer Research and funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.