Recently, we wrote about a very encouraging test for pancreatic cancer that initially showed 100% accuracy. It is a blood test , so relatively non-invasive — though the test must be custom designed to detect the “telomeres” that signal emerging cancer.
Now, a new study has been announced that uses a urine test to detect early pancreatic cancer. This test detects four different varieties of “MicroRNAs,” which are involved in a variety of cell regulation processes and, when they show up in unpredictable forms or amounts, signal the presence of cancer. The test was conducted at several hospitals in England.
The test showed high sensitivity (accurate detection of positive results) and specificity (accurate detection of negative results) — over 80% for both. While not as high as the blood test announced recently, these tests must go through lengthy, rigorous study, so the more candidates, the better.
Now we should hope that both tests navigate regulatory hurdles quickly and successfully.