Although diabetes of long duration can slightly increase pancreatic cancer risk, researchers have discovered that for a small percentage of people over age 50 who are newly diagnosed with diabetes, the disease is a symptom of a pancreatic tumor. The Early Detection Initiative, sponsored by Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), is a clinical trial designed to study this relationship. Using electronic medical records to recruit participants, the study will use imaging to identify indicators of early-stage pancreatic cancer. The goal is to develop a screening protocol to detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage, when the cancer can be surgically removed. The trial will also collect blood samples for research into possible pancreatic cancer biomarkers.
Dr. Barbara Kenner is a member of the Early Detection Initiative leadership team.