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Pancreatic Cancer May Be Detected With Simple Intestinal Probe

(Science Daily) By simply shining a tiny light within the small intestine, close to that organ's junction with the pancreas, physicians at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have been able to detect pancreatic cancer 100 percent of the time in a small study. The light, attached to a probe, measures changes in cells and blood vessels in the small intestine produced by a growing cancer in the adjoining pancreas.
This minimally invasive technique, called Polarization Gating Spectroscopy, will now be tested in a much larger international clinical trial led by the Mayo Clinic researchers. The preliminary study suggests it may be possible, one day, to use a less invasive endoscope to screen patients for early development of pancreatic cancer…
Mihir Patel, M.D., a gastroenterologist who worked with Dr. [Michael] Wallace on the study, says that despite of intense research, we haven't been successful in significantly improving the overall survival associated with pancreatic cancer in the past several decades. That's because we haven't been able to detect the cancer early enough. Developing a technique to screen the patients and detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage would be a potential breakthrough. In our preliminary data, this technology has shown to hold similar potential.
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