Genomic Variations in Pancreatic Cancer and Potential Opportunities for Development of New Approaches for Diagnosis and Treatment.
Int J Mol Sci
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Human pancreatic cancer has a very poor prognosis with an overall five-year survival rate of less than 5% and an average median survival time of six months. This is largely due to metastatic disease, which is already present in the majority of patients when diagnosed. Although our understanding of the molecular events underlying multi-step carcinogenesis in pancreatic cancer has steadily increased, translation into more effective therapeutic approaches has been inefficient in recent decades. Therefore, it is imperative that novel and targeted approaches are designed to facilitate the early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Presently, there are numerous ongoing studies investigating the types of genomic variations in pancreatic cancer and their impact on tumor initiation and growth, as well as prognosis. This has led to the development of therapeutics to target these genetic variations for clinical benefit. Thus far, there have been minimal clinical successes directly targeting these genomic alterations; however research is ongoing to ultimately discover an innovative approach to tackle this devastating disease. This review will discuss the genomic variations in pancreatic cancer, and the resulting potential diagnostic and therapeutic implications.