Gene-expression profiling in pancreatic cancer

Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2010 Jul;10(5):591-601. doi: 10.1586/erm.10.43.


Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst prognoses, owing principally to a late diagnosis and the absence of good treatments. In the last 5 years, up to 12 molecular pathways involved in pancreatic cancer have been described. Global gene-expression profiling and the use of microarray databases have allowed the identification of hundreds of genes that are differentially expressed in pancreatic cancer. However, validation of these genes as biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis or treatment efficacy is still incomplete. Additionally, microRNAs have emerged as a potential source of variation between cancer and normal samples, and several of them have been identified as being deregulated in pancreatic tumors. An integrative point of view in the study of pancreatic cancer that makes use of all the whole-genome technologies has revealed several molecular mechanisms that affect pancreatic cancer development. These results should encourage the use of more personalized medicine in this pathology. Recent developments and future perspectives are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • PubMed


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs