TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute) is a non-profit medical research institute focused on quickly helping people who are suffering from cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes.
TGen is focused on finding a method of detecting pancreatic cancer as early as possible.
Currently, there is no screening test in common use for pancreatic cancer, which in the U.S. is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, annually killing more than 37,000 (2012). Also, there is no diagnostic test, other than examining diseased tissue.
As a result, pancreatic cancer often is not detected until the cancer is in advanced stages, when patients face diminishing treatment options.
If we can identify among higher-risk individuals a potential biomarker that suggests additional investigation is warranted, such as imaging, that has potential value, it can lead to earlier detection and catching the cancer in an early stage.
If we can use a blood test to identify metastatic pancreatic cancer before it shows up on imaging tests, we may prevent unnecessary surgery or invasive procedures.
The only current prognostic in pancreatic cancer is a blood test for tumor markers known as CA-19-9. If we can identify biomarkers that improve on the performance of CA-19-9 as a prognostic test for disease relapse after surgery — that may be helpful in identifying those higher-risk individuals for new therapies that may prevent disease relapse.
The ability to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately cure this disease will depend on understanding the genetic causes, and translating this information into new diagnostic tests and therapeutics.
At the heart of TGen’s research efforts is the goal of improving patient care by more effectively targeting treatments to an individual’s genetic profile, resulting in improved patient response.
For information, please visit www.tgen.org