Blood samples from the BWH/Harvard Cohorts Biorepository have helped researchers identify an early sign of pancreatic cancer. Researchers analyzed samples collected years earlier from 1,500 people participating in cohort health studies, looking for more than 100 different metabolites. They found higher levels of branched chain amino acids in people who developed pancreatic cancer compared to those who did not. The findings have the potential to accelerate progress in detecting pancreatic tumors earlier and identifying new treatment strategies for people with the disease.
Mayers JR, Wu C, Clish CB, Kraft P, Torrence ME, Fiske BP, Yuan C, Bao Y, Townsend MK, Tworoger SS, Davidson SM, Papagiannakopoulos T, Yang A, Dayton TL, Ogino S, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Qian ZR, Rubinson DA, Ma J, Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Cochrane BB, Liu S, Wactawski-Wende J, Manson JE, Pollak MN, Kimmelman AC, Souza A, Pierce K, Wang TJ, Gerszten RE, Fuchs CS, Vander Heiden MG, Wolpin BM. Elevation of circulating branched-chain amino acids is an early event in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma development. Nat Med. 2014 Oct;20(10):1193-8. doi: 10.1038/nm.3686. Epub 2014 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 25261994; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4191991.
Full text: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nm.3686.html