Molecular Profiling in Pancreatic Cancer: Current Role and Its Impact on Primary Surgery

Reyes, C. M., Dogruoez, A., Istvanffy, R., Friess, H., Ceyhan, G. O., and Demir, I. E. (2021). Visc Med 38, 37-41.


Background: The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies has enabled the identification of molecular subtypes of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with different biological traits and clinically targetable features.

Summary: Although current chemotherapy trials are currently exploiting this knowledge, these molecular subtypes have not yet sufficiently caught the attention of surgeons. In fact, integration of these molecular subtypes into the timing of surgery can in theory improve patient outcome. Here, we present the molecular subtypes of PDAC from the surgeon’s perspective and a clinically applicable algorithm that integrates the molecular subtyping of PDAC preoperatively into the decision of primary surgery versus neoadjuvant therapy. Furthermore, we point out the potential of “tailored” (in addition to conventional) neoadjuvant treatment for exploiting the molecular subtypes of PDAC.

Key Messages: We believe that for surgeons, the preoperative knowledge on the subtype of PDAC can properly guide in deciding between upfront surgery versus neoadjuvant treatment for improving patient outcome.