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Esophageal cancer signs identified

PITTSBURGH – A federally supported study has identified four proteins associated with the onset of esophageal cancer, the precursor to developing a blood test for early detection and better treatment of a particularly lethal disease.

The findings – by doctors at Allegheny Health Network, the University of Pittsburgh, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and an Amsterdam medical center – were published online Tuesday by the journal Cancer.

“Esophageal cancer patients often have few options available to fight this disease, and five-year survival rates are extremely low at about 15 percent,” Blair Jobe, director of Allegheny Health Network’s Esophageal and Thoracic Institute and the study’s lead researcher, said in a statement.

According to the new study, the incidence of esophageal cancer is up 600 percent since the 1970s.