Toward the goal of personalized therapy in pancreatic cancer by targeting the molecular phenotype

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;779:91-143. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6176-0_5.


The purpose of this article is to provide a critical review of the molecular alterations in pancreatic cancer that are clinically investigated as therapeutic targets and their potential impact on clinical outcomes. Adenocarcinoma of exocrine pancreas is generally associated with poor prognosis and the conventional therapies are marginally effective. Advances in understanding the genetic regulation of normal and neoplastic development of pancreas have led to development and clinical evaluation of new therapeutic strategies that target the signaling pathways and molecular alterations in pancreatic cancer. Applications have begun to utilize the genetic targets as biomarkers for prediction of therapeutic responses and selection of treatment options. The goal of accomplishing personalized tumor-specific therapy with tolerable side effects for patients with pancreatic cancer is hopefully within reach in the foreseeable future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Precision Medicine*