RNAi-mediated knockdown of target genes: a promising strategy for pancreatic cancer research

Cancer Gene Ther. 2007 Aug;14(8):677-85. doi: 10.1038/sj.cgt.7701063. Epub 2007 Jun 1.


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive malignancies with a very poor prognosis, partially due to its very low accessibility to resection and resistance to chemoradiotherapy. As such, it is reasonable to find more effective, specific therapies and the related therapeutic targets. The identification of certain genes contributing to the tumorigenesis and poor prognosis provides the specific targets for efficient silencing by RNA interference (RNAi). As a powerful tool to suppress gene expression in mammalian cells, RNAi can be directed against pancreatic cancer through various pathways, including the inhibition of overexpressed oncogenes, suppression of tumor growth, metastasis and enhancement of apoptosis. In combination with chemoradiotherapy agents, RNAi can also attenuate the chemoradiation resistance of pancreatic cancer. In addition, RNAi has been used to define the 'loss of function' of endogenous genes in pancreatic cancer. This review provides a brief introduction to recent developments of RNAi applications in pancreatic cancer studies and suggestions for further exploration. It substantially demonstrates that RNAi holds a promising therapeutic potential as a future treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Targeting*
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA Interference / physiology*