Does early detection mean longer survival with pancreas cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Screening using AI for pancreas cancer detection demonstrates impressive results, according to a recent study. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins says the proof will be if longer term studies demonstrate that early detection improves survival or cure.

Nelson: If you can detect a small tumor with a significant lead time, can you affect the outcome of the disease more generally? I think it’s plausible that you can. The reason it’s up for discussion, this is an incredibly small cancer deposit and already has a billion cells in it. At that level some cancers are nasty enough to have acquired many different kinds of defects which enable them to spread throughout the body and cause problems. It’s certainly  going to be easier to treat cancers with approaches that cause less problems when they are small. It’s one of the things we’ve learned from mammography.  :35

Nelson says there’s every reason to be optimistic. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.