A research team from the Duke University Medical Center came up with a biomarker-based clinical approach for the classification of pancreatic lesions with the highest risk of becoming cancerous. Early detection of whether cysts will develop into cancer enables preventive surgeries especially that pancreatic cancer is on the rise and can be notoriously stealthy before being discovered.
The researchers focused on precancerous cysts, also called as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). As most IPMNs don’t progress to pancreatic cancer, determining those that will progress will open an opportunity for preventing an incurable disease from developing.
Pancreatic cancer has seen an increased prevalence over the years and the driving force is unknown. Peter Allen, M.D, the study’s senior author, stated that inflammation could play a role. He furthered the study and led a clinical trial at Duke to test whether an anti-inflammatory therapy could lessen the probability of cancer development in patients with IPMN.