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Friday - April 6, 2018 2:08 am

Mayo needs recruits in study to help fight pancreatic cancer

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Known as the “silent killer.” Pancreatic cancer is set to become the second-deadliest cancer in the U.S. by 2030.

Currently, the science to stop it is lagging, as well as the ability to detect it. But you may be able to help.

Mayo Franciscan Health Care in La Crosse is recruiting adults with diabetes who are interested in being part of a screening study for pancreatic cancer.

“It’s a killer,” Dr. Michael Van Norstrand, a gastroenterologist at said of the disease. “And, when people get a diagnosis, it has a very poor outcome in general.

“Unfortunately, it’s one of the few cancers where we have no good screen tool to screen the average person. Since we can’t screen for it, it comes at people out of the woodwork, so we really need to work on it.”

Those recruited will take blood samples over a three-year period to develop screening tools to catch the disease early. The American Cancer Society says a five-year survival rate is just 7 percent.

“What we’re looking for is blood tests that will allow us to screen people to find out who is at risk, who might need additional testing,” Van Norstrand said. “Right now we can’t pick those people out.”

Test patients must have newly diagnosed adult diabetes. They will give blood at random intervals throughout the process.

Drew Kelly

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