Our Review SummaryThe headline of this news release — ‘New blood test detects early stage pancreatic cancer’ — is misleading since the study results are quite preliminary, and the blood test was given to those already known to have cancer. For many readers the headline might suggest there’s a new screening test currently available that can detect this very lethal cancer in anyone, when that’s clearly not the case. The strength of this news release is that it firmly establishes the need for early diagnosis in this difficult to diagnose condition. Where it falls short is explaining what the main finding of detecting cancers with “96 accuracy” means, the significant limitations that place this impressive finding in a more appropriate context, and the potential influence of significant conflicts of interest among the authors. Why This MattersA very small minority of cases of pancreatic cancer are caught early. By the time it’s usually diagnosed it’s frequently quite advanced and much more lethal. Any test — blood-based or otherwise — that could catch this cancer early has the potential to improve survival … and be lucrative for developers. This news release teaches several lessons worth highlighting that we often find when blood… Read full this story
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