Home Fairfield Western Connecticut Health Network launches $2.7M diabetes, pancreatic cancer study

Western Connecticut Health Network launches $2.7M diabetes, pancreatic cancer study

Western Connecticut Health Network has announced the launch of a $2.7 million, three-year research study to investigate the link between new-onset diabetes and pancreatic cancer, with the aim of finding a method to detect pancreatic cancer while it can still be cured.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with a five-year survival rate of 8 percent, according to Western Connecticut Health Network, the Danbury-based group whose facilities include Danbury, Norwalk and New Milford Hospitals.

The study was developed by a team of health network physicians and researchers led by Richard Frank, WCHN’s director of clinical cancer research.

Study participants will undergo annual MRIs of the pancreas for three years, using a specific MRI protocol. Suspicious lesions will be further investigated by a gastroenterologist using a special type of ultrasound for the presence of cancer or pre-cancerous changes. Participants also will donate a blood sample every six months in order to create a serum biobank that may contain the earliest clues of pancreatic cancer at the DNA level, WCHN said.

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