Researchers at Dana Faber Cancer and the Broad Institutes have a new approach to the study of pancreatic cancer. It’s a blood test, and could be a life saver for up to 40,000 people a year that are claimed by the disease! Metabolic changes in the body are key indicators that something is amiss. In this, case amino acids named leucine, (pronounced lusine), iso-leucine, and valine are at high levels as much as 10 years before an individual is diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. It’s sort of a chemical signature and they think that the cancer feeds itself by increasing some of the basic building blocks of the body.

In mice with pancreatic cancer the researchers found the same sort of process. Mice developed the cancer and even at its early stages, changes occurred that caused alteration of proteins in tissues: a metabolic breakdown.
In a patient study of 1500, blood samples revealed an increase of leucine, iso-leucine and valine was a predictor of future diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

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