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Pancreatic Cancer

Volume 980 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 1-12

Date:

Identification and Analysis of Precursors to Invasive Pancreatic Cancer

  • Hanno MatthaeiAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • , Marco Dal MolinAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsDepartment of Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • , Anirban MaitraAffiliated withDepartments of Pathology and Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Email author 

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Abstract

Precursor lesions of pancreatic cancer have been recognized about a century ago. The development of a consistent reproducible nomenclature and classification system for these lesions has been a major advance in the study of these noninvasive precursors. Pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) as microscopic precursor lesions can be distinguished from mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCNs) and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) that are cystic and can often be recognized on imaging. Since precursor lesions harbor the unique chance to treat a patient before a fatal pancreatic cancer can arise a molecular characterization is essential to understand the biology and to find diagnostic and therapeutic targets to fight this disease of near uniform lethality. In order to study precursor lesions on a molecular level a meticulous isolation of the neoplastic cells is inevitable. We present the salient histopathologic and molecular features of precursor lesions of pancreatic cancer as well as methods that have proved to be useful within experimental studies.

Key words

Precursor lesions PanIN IPMN MCN Microdissection