Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains one of the worst cancers, with almost uniform lethality. PC risk is associated with westernized diet, tobacco, alcohol, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, and family history of pancreatic cancer. New targeted agents and the use of various therapeutic combinations have yet to provide adequate treatments for patients with advanced cancer. To design better preventive and/or treatment strategies against PC, knowledge of PC pathogenesis at the molecular level is vital. With the advent of genetically modified animals, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular biology and pathogenesis of PC. Currently, several clinical trials and preclinical evaluations are underway to investigate novel agents that target signaling defects in PC. An important consideration in evaluating novel drugs is determining whether an agent can reach the target in concentrations effective to treat the disease. Recently, we have reported evidence for chemoprevention of PC. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of current updates on molecularly targeted interventions, as well as dietary, phytochemical, immunoregulatory, and microenvironment-based approaches for the development of novel therapeutic and preventive regimens. Special attention is given to prevention and treatment in preclinical genetically engineered mouse studies and human clinical studies.
Keywords: chemoprevention; chemotherapy; combination treatment; drug development; pancreatic cancer.