Current Strategies and Future Perspectives for Precision Medicine in Pancreatic Cancer

Regel, I., Mayerle, J., and Mahajan, U. M. (2020). Cancers (Basel) 12. doi: 10.3390/cancers12041024


Current standard-of-care for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) focusses on chemotherapeutic regimens and pancreatic cancer surgery. However, limited treatment options, late diagnosis in advanced tumor stages and the aggressive behavior of PDAC contribute to the high mortality of the disease. Consequently, there is an urgent need of precision medicine for pancreatic cancer patients. All over the world, numerous initiatives started in recent years to translate novel scientific discoveries into prospective clinical trials. One major approach pursues the stratification of PDAC patients according the tumor transcriptome to predict treatment response. Other strategies concentrate on genomic alterations and the identification of individualized targeted therapies. Further experimental studies are ongoing to detect novel biomarkers for cancer diagnosis, subtyping, treatment response prediction or clinical outcome. However, the challenge remains to transfer the knowledge into clinical practice. In this review, we summarize current literature and knowledge and highlight novel concepts of basic and clinical research uncovering suitable biomarkers and targeted therapies. Thus, we provide an overview of preclinical and clinical efforts of precision medicine in pancreatic cancer.