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03-05-2015 | Pancreatic cancer | Article

Novel approaches in the management of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: potential promises for the future

Journal of Hematology & Oncology

Authors: Gaurav Goel, Weijing Sun

Publisher: BioMed Central


Despite a few breakthroughs in therapy for advanced disease in the recent years, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma continues to remain one of the most challenging human malignancies to treat. The overall prognosis for the majority of patients with pancreatic cancer is rather dismal, and therefore, more effective treatment options are being desperately sought. The practical goals of management are to improve the cure rates for patients with resectable disease, achieve a higher conversion rate of locally advanced tumor into potentially resectable disease, and finally, prolong the overall survival for those who develop metastatic disease. Our understanding of the complex genetic alterations, the implicated molecular pathways, and the role of desmoplastic stroma in pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis has increased several folds in the recent years. This has facilitated the development of novel therapeutic strategies against pancreatic cancer, some of which are currently under evaluation in ongoing preclinical and clinical studies. This review will summarize the existing treatment approaches for this devastating disease and also discuss the promising therapeutic approaches that are currently in different stages of clinical development.

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