Dr. Ocean on Efforts to Improve Early Detection in Pancreatic Cancer

Allyson Ocean, MD
Published: Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019



Allyson Ocean, MD, an associate attending physician, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses efforts to improve early detection rates in pancreatic cancer.

Several advances have been made in earlier detection of pancreatic cancer. For example, it is now known that approximately 1% of new-onset diabetics are at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Therefore, research is beginning to examine that patient population. Additionally, a blood test designed to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer is currently under development, adds Ocean.

Moreover, guidelines now recommend that all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer undergo genetic testing, as it may reveal an actionable mutation in their germline or in their tumor. Genetic testing could also reveal whether a patient has a mutation that predisposes them, and potentially their family members, to pancreatic cancer. To this end, the ongoing GENERATE study allows family members to receive free genetic testing if someine in their family has pancreatic cancer with a known genetic mutation.
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Allyson Ocean, MD, an associate attending physician, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses efforts to improve early detection rates in pancreatic cancer.

Several advances have been made in earlier detection of pancreatic cancer. For example, it is now known that approximately 1% of new-onset diabetics are at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Therefore, research is beginning to examine that patient population. Additionally, a blood test designed to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer is currently under development, adds Ocean.

Moreover, guidelines now recommend that all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer undergo genetic testing, as it may reveal an actionable mutation in their germline or in their tumor. Genetic testing could also reveal whether a patient has a mutation that predisposes them, and potentially their family members, to pancreatic cancer. To this end, the ongoing GENERATE study allows family members to receive free genetic testing if someine in their family has pancreatic cancer with a known genetic mutation.



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