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New insights in the development of pancreatic cancer

Sinha, Smrita; Leach, Steven D.

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: September 2016 - Volume 32 - Issue 5 - p 394–400
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000295
PANCREAS: Edited by Fred S. Gorelick

Purpose of review The review intends to describe recent studies on the development of pancreatic cancer from a genetic, molecular, and microenvironment perspective.

Recent findings Pancreatic cancer has been discovered to have distinct molecular subtypes based on transcriptome analyses that may have implications for treatment. Recent studies are also mapping the complex molecular biology of this cancer as it relates to the core signaling abnormalities inherent to this disease. There have been discoveries of novel modes of regulation of pancreatic cancer development, including alterations in key transcription factors, epigenetic modifiers, and metabolic pathways. Studies of the tumor-associated microenvironment continue to reveal its complex role in tumor development.

Summary Pancreatic cancer development appears to depend on a multifaceted network of signals that are dynamic, involve multiple cell types, and are linked to spatiotemporal factors in tumor evolution. Understanding the development of pancreatic cancer in this context is key to identifying novel and effective targets for treatment.

aDavid M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research

bGastroenterology and Nutrition Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Steven D. Leach, 417 East 68th Street, Z-845, New York, NY 10065, USA. Tel: +1 646.888.3662; e-mail:

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.