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Sentinels in the Blood: A New Diagnostic for Pancreatic Cancer

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Despite enormous research strides, detection methods for many diseases remain cumbersome and expensive, and often uncover illness only at advanced stages, when patient outcomes can be bleak.

One such illness is pancreatic cancer, which may display no obvious symptoms in its early stages, yet can develop aggressively. Indeed, according to the American Cancer Society, a staggering 80 percent of those stricken with this form of cancer die within 1 year of diagnosis.

Now, however, Tony Hu, a researcher in the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics and his colleagues have devised a crafty method to identify pancreatic cancer early in its development. Their technique relies on the sensitive detection of extracellular vesicles (EVs) — tiny bubbles of material emitted from most living cells. Read more . . .

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