Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at the Mcm5 protein test as a way of diagnosing cancer of the bile duct, gallbladder or pancreas
This trial was looking at a new test called the Mcm5 protein test to see if it could help diagnose cancer of the bile duct, gallbladder or pancreas.
Doctors hoped that a test looking for a protein called Mcm5 would be better at diagnosing these cancers. Mcm stands for ‘mini chromosome maintenance’ protein. This was a new test. Doctors needed to make sure it was accurate and reliable.
In this trial, patients had the Mcm5 test as well as the usual tests, not instead of them. Results of the MCM5 test did not affect peoples’ treatment or care. The aim of the trial was to find out if testing for the Mcm5 protein could help diagnose cancer of the bile duct, gallbladder or pancreas.
Summary of results
The trial team found that testing a sample of
The trial recruited people who were having tests because they had a narrowing (a stricture) of the
- 102 people were included in the study
- Everybody taking part had a test called an ERCP
- Doctors removed a sample of cells to be looked at under the microscope (
cytology), which is a standard test for diagnosing cancer
- Doctors also took a sample of bile
As well as the standard cytology, the trial team looked for Mcm proteins in the cell samples, and in the samples of bile. They compared their findings with
They found that in people who were diagnosed with cancer, the amount of Mcm proteins in the bile sample was very high. And in people who did not have cancer, it was very low.
These results show that the test can help to diagnose cancer. The researchers are now studying it in a larger trial to see how reliable it is.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Steve Pereira
University College Hospital