Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have reported positive results of a non-invasive DNA test to detect pancreatic cancer from a stool sample.
The study was aimed at detecting methylations in stool samples of 127 patients, 60 of which were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 67 of which were not diagnosed with the disease, and results indicated that the methylations were reliably detected in the stools of participants with cancer.
The findings could lead to more early detections of pancreatic cancer, which could increase the survival rate for those who have the disease.
Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist John Kisiel said the methylated marker, called BMP3, and the mutated KRAS genes were detected in 70% of those in the study who had pancreatic cancer.
“This is going to lead us to try to test additional patient tumour specimens for additional diagnostic markers of this type so that we can develop a panel of markers that could cover all the cancers and pre-cancers throughout the gastrointestinal tract,” Kisiel said.