, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 35-42

Pancreatic cancer: the potential clinical relevance of alterations in growth factors and their receptors

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Molecular alterations play a key role in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal cancers. In the present paper we describe relevant molecular alterations in human pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Overexpression of growth factor receptors (EGF receptor, c-erbB2, c-erbB3, TGFβ receptor I–III), growth factors (EGF, TGFα, TGFβ-1-3, aFGF, bFGF), adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, ELAM-1) and gene mutations (p53, K-ras, DCC, APC) are present in a significant number of these tumors. These changes stimulate tumor growth and enhance the metastatic behavior of pancreatic cancer cells and thereby may contribute to shorter postoperative survival following tumor resection.