Molecular pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;20(2):211-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2005.10.002.


Pancreatic cancer is fundamentally a disease of inherited and acquired mutations in cancer-related genes. The genes targeted in pancreatic cancer include tumor-suppressor genes (p16/CDKN2A, TP53 and SMAD4), oncogenes (KRAS, BRAF, AKT2, MYB, and AIB1), and genome-maintenance genes (MLH1, MSH2, BRAC2 and other Fanconi anemia genes). An understanding of the cancer-related genes that are altered in pancreatic cancer has a number of clinical applications including genetic counseling for individuals with a family history of cancer, early detection of pancreatic neoplasia, and mechanism-based therapies for patients with advanced disease. This chapter will provide an overview of the molecular pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer with emphasis on clinical applications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Carcinoma in Situ / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Oncogenes
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Telomere