A multidisciplinary team from the University of Granada has developed software that can make it easier to identify potential pancreatic cancer biomarkers and thereby achieve earlier diagnosis of the disease. Pancreatic cancer can be diagnosed using biomarkers which, in this case, are differentially expressed genes indicative of this illness.
However, medical professionals currently face two problems when attempting to diagnose pancreatic cancer early and efficiently. Firstly, a patient’s genetic expression data can be collected using several platforms such as Affymetrix or Illumina, but this heterogeneous data, despite possibly containing important information about potential cancer biomarkers, can be hard to analyse.
Secondly, 80 percent of patients already have locally advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, due to the absence of reliable biomarkers which could help to detect the illness at an earlier stage. The UGR researchers behind the study, which set out to address these problems, therefore explain that: “All improvements aimed at identifying new biomarkers of this illness are essential if we are to diagnose cancer earlier and improve the prognosis of patients.”
The study, led by UGR scientists Ignacio Rojas Ruiz, Octavio Caba Pérez and José Carlos Prados Salazar and published in the journal PLOS
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