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Next-Generation Sequencing in Pancreatic Cancer

Shen, Gong-Qing MD, PhD*†; Aleassa, Essa M. MD*‡; Walsh, R. Matthew MD*†; Morris-Stiff, Gareth MD, PhD*†

doi: 10.1097/MPA.0000000000001324

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is lethal, and the majority of patients present with locally advanced or metastatic disease that is not amenable to cure. Thus, with surgical resection being the only curative modality, it is critical that disease is identified at an earlier stage to allow the appropriate therapy to be applied. Unfortunately, a specific biomarker for early diagnosis has not yet been identified; hence, no screening process exists. Recently, high-throughput screening and next-generation sequencing (NGS) have led to the identification of novel biomarkers for many disease processes, and work has commenced in PDAC. Genomic data generated by NGS not only have the potential to assist clinicians in early diagnosis and screening, especially in high-risk populations, but also may eventually allow the development of personalized treatment programs with targeted therapies, given the large number of gene mutations seen in PDAC. This review introduces the basic concepts of NGS and provides a comprehensive review of the current understanding of genetics in PDAC as related to discoveries made using NGS.

From the *Department of General Surgery, Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic; and

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH; and

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, UAE.

Received for publication November 1, 2018; accepted April 20, 2019.

Address correspondence to: Gareth Morris-Stiff, MD, PhD, Department of General Surgery, A10-100, Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195 (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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