The Clinical Potential of Oligonucleotide Therapeutics against Pancreatic Cancer

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jul 6;20(13):3331. doi: 10.3390/ijms20133331.


Although many diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for pancreatic cancer have been proposed, an urgent need for improved therapeutic strategies remains. Oligonucleotide therapeutics, such as those based on antisense RNAs, small interfering RNA (siRNA), microRNA (miRNA), aptamers, and decoys, are promising agents against pancreatic cancer, because they can identify a specific mRNA fragment of a given sequence or protein, and interfere with gene expression as molecular-targeted agents. Within the past 25 years, the diversity and feasibility of these drugs as diagnostic or therapeutic tools have dramatically increased. Several clinical and preclinical studies of oligonucleotides have been conducted for patients with pancreatic cancer. To support the discovery of effective diagnostic or therapeutic options using oligonucleotide-based strategies, in the absence of satisfactory therapies for long-term survival and the increasing trend of diseases, we summarize the current clinical trials of oligonucleotide therapeutics for pancreatic cancer patients, with underlying preclinical and scientific data, and focus on the possibility of oligonucleotides for targeting pancreatic cancer in clinical implications.

Keywords: RNA interference; antisense; aptamer; decoy; oligonucleotide therapeutics; pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / therapeutic use
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / therapeutic use


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • MicroRNAs
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • RNA, Small Interfering