The findings of their research, if confirmed, they say, could be an important step in reducing mortality from the cancer, which has an overall five-year survival rate of less than 5 percent and has seen few improvements in survival over the last three decades.
"We have mammograms to screen for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colon cancer but we have had nothing to help us screen for pancreatic cancer," says Nita Ahuja, M.D., an associate professor of surgery, oncology and urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study described online this month in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. "While far from perfect, we think we have found an early detection marker for pancreatic cancer that may allow us to locate and attack the disease at a much earlier stage than we usually do."
For their study, Ahuja and her colleagues were able to identify two genes, BNC1 and ADAMTS1, which together were detectable in 81 percent of blood samples from 42 people with early-stage pancreatic cancer, but not in patients without the disease or in patients with a history of pancreatitis, a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. By contrast, the commonly used PSA antigen test for prostate cancer only picks up about 20 percent of prostate cancers.
Ahuja and her colleagues found that in pancreatic cancer cells, it appears that chemical alterations to BNC1 and ADAMTS1 - epigenetic modifications that alter the way the genes function without changing the underlying DNA sequence - silence the genes and prevent them from making their protein product, the role of which is not well-understood. These alterations are caused by the addition of a methyl group to the DNA.
Using a very sensitive method called Methylation on Beads (MOB) developed by Jeff Tza-Huei Wang, Ph.D., a professor at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the researchers were able to single out, in the blood, even the smallest strands of DNA of those two genes with their added methyl groups. The technique uses nanoparticle magnets to latch on to the few molecules being shed by the tumors, which are enough to signal the presence of pancreatic cancer in the body, the researchers found.
Medical devices continue to stretch the imagination. With new devices thought of daily, the need for qualified and certified individuals to be able to represent these new technologies is paramount. When industry leaders are looking for new entry level representatives, they look for individuals who are qualified and certified. The reason being is that they expect their representatives to be able to sell their products both efficiantly and proficiently.
CANDIDATES WHO WANT TO BREAK INTO MEDICAL SALES:
RMSR® Medical Sales Certification offered by the National Association of Medical Sales Representatives is designed for entry level medical device sales reps. The course covers a wide array of topics pertaining to industry knowledge that candidates need to acquire before applying to medical sales positions.
The course and training helps to develop the industry skills, maximizing the candidates potential and goals, as well as making them feel valued and stimulated in their role when communicating with members of the medical community. By an applicant acquiring medical sales training and a RMSR Certification, it puts him/her in a position of strength and qualifies them for medical sales jobs. Medical knowledge is key in this industry and when communicating with doctors, surgeons, and nurses etc. It is extremely important for representatives to use key terminology pertaining to the medical product he/she will be promoting. The only way to succeed in this industry is to garner actual sales. Doctors and Surgeons will not acknowledge a Sales Rep who is not proficient in essential medical terminology, knowledgeable of medical devices/equipment and the anatomy. For those lacking a solid sales background the RMSR course covers knowledge of medical selling techniques and regulation such as Effective Territory Management, Effective Networking, Medical Sales Ethical & Regulatory Guidelines and more.
The National Association of Medical Sales Representative™(
For more information on the NAMSR or the RMSR certification visit www.medicalsalescareer.com or call 800-313-9198