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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 779; doi:10.3390/ijms18040779

Molecular Drivers of Pancreatic Cancer Pathogenesis: Looking Inward to Move Forward

1
Department of Oncologic Sciences, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36604, USA
2
Departments of Interdisciplinary Clinical Oncology, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36604, USA
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36604, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Srikumar Chellappan and Jaya Padmanabhan
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Disorders)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [709 KB, uploaded 12 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer (PC) continues to rank among the most lethal cancers. The consistent increase in incidence and mortality has made it the seventh leading cause of cancer-associated deaths globally and the third in the United States. The biggest challenge in combating PC is our insufficient understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) underlying its complex biology. Studies during the last several years have helped identify several putative factors and events, both genetic and epigenetic, as well as some deregulated signaling pathways, with implications in PC onset and progression. In this review article, we make an effort to summarize our current understanding of molecular and cellular events involved in the pathogenesis of pancreatic malignancy. Specifically, we provide up-to-date information on the genetic and epigenetic changes that occur during the initiation and progression of PC and their functional involvement in the pathogenic processes. We also discuss the impact of the tumor microenvironment on the molecular landscape of PC and its role in aggressive disease progression. It is envisioned that a better understanding of these molecular factors and the mechanisms of their actions can help unravel novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and can also be exploited for future targeted therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; molecular pathogenesis; tumor microenvironment; non-coding RNAs; mutations; microRNA pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; molecular pathogenesis; tumor microenvironment; non-coding RNAs; mutations; microRNA
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Khan, M.A.; Azim, S.; Zubair, H.; Bhardwaj, A.; Patel, G.K.; Khushman, M.; Singh, S.; Singh, A.P. Molecular Drivers of Pancreatic Cancer Pathogenesis: Looking Inward to Move Forward. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 779.

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