Alterations of cell signaling pathways in pancreatic cancer

Front Biosci. 2004 May 1;9:1889-98. doi: 10.2741/1388.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas continue to have the worst prognosis of any adult malignancy with a five-year survival rate of less than 4%. One approach to improve patient survival from pancreatic cancer is to identify new biological targets that contribute to the aggressive pathogenecity of this disease and to develop reagents that will interfere with the function of these targets. Apart from the identification of the genetic profile of pancreatic cancer, a number of studies have focused on aberrant cell signaling pathways and their role in pancreatic cancer biology and response to therapy. This review, although not comprehensive, will discuss the salient features of several of these pathways. These include the roles of TGF beta signaling in both tumor suppression and tumor promotion and the effects of deregulation of phosphotyrosine kinase receptor signaling pathways in pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases