This is AWESOME! I saw people discussing it on Twitter a while back but hadn't had a chance to investigate. How big of a deal is it? Well, its such a big deal that a writer for CBS in the U.S. was actually assigned to write a page on it! And if you follow U.S. television "news" you know that it takes something BIG for them to devote an instant to something unrelated to the Kardashians.
Check this out:
We have virtually no early detection systems for pancreatic cancer. Typically you go in with severe back pain and THEN you find out it has progressed like crazy and you have months to live. Its a disease bad enough that it can take even this guy out...
...a mere 20 months after his diagnosis... Which is typical. Only around 6% of people who are diagnosed are alive 5 years later. And we may have a functional biomarker IN URINE!! All signs point to it being a beatable cancer, if you catch it in time, we just never do! What if early detection was part of your normal hospital panel when you get your physical every year? You catch it before it is terrible, and you and your capable oncologist beat it, that's what!
How'd they find these biomarkers? By LC-MS/MS of course. LC-MS/MS by the capable hands of the great team at MSBioworks, no less.
Here is the BBC article.
Here is the original journal article abstract at Clinical Cancer Research.
Keep this one in your back pocket the next time some know it all says that proteomics and mass spectrometry aren't living up to their promise! Get back to work you awesome people and