, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1651-1652
Date: 29 Jun 2012

Personalized Medicine in Pancreatic Cancer: Prognosis and Potential Implications for Therapy

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Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal disease. In 2010, an estimated 43,140 patients were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 36,800 died of their disease, making pancreatic cancer among the most lethal of all solid tumors.1 The major reason for the lethal nature of pancreatic cancer is that it is commonly diagnosed in the final stages of the disease.2 For example, Yachida et al. recently found that although there is a long window of opportunity for early detection of pancreatic cancers while still in the curable stage, most patients are diagnosed after metastatic dissemination has occurred.3 Thus, the development of biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic cancer remains the most important hurdle towards cure of this disease.4

In an effort to better understand pancreatic cancer at its most lethal stage, in 2003, we instituted a rapid autopsy program for patients with end-stage pancreatic cancer.5 This program has not only indicated that a rapid autopsy protocol for procurement of p ...

This paper was originally presented as part of the SSAT State-of-the-Art Conference, Personalized Medicine in Gastrointestinal Cancer: Potential Applications in Clinical Practice, at the SSAT 52nd Annual Meeting, May 2011, in Chicago, IL, USA. The other articles presented in the conference were Riall TS, Introduction: Personalized Medicine in Gastrointestinal Cancer; Chao C, Overview of Personalized Medicine in GI Cancers; Carethers JM, Proteomics, Genomics and Molecular Biology in the Personalized Treatment of Colorectal Cancer; and DeMatteo RP, Personalized Therapy: Prognostic Factors in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST).