Genome-wide studies focusing on elucidating the effects on cancer progression have enabled the consequent identification of a distinct subpopulation of pancreatic cancer cells with unstable genomic characteristics. Based on this background, deleterious changes by poly (adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP)-1 have been concentrated in oncology. One of the critical functions of PARP-1 is the response to DNA damage, which plays a pivotal role in DNA repair in cancers. PARP-1 also has widespread functions that are essential for the survival and growth of cancer cells. It regulates oxidative stress in mitochondria through the regulation of superoxide and oxidation. PARP-1 is in charge of regulating mitosis, which is a crucial role in tumorigenesis and remodels histones and chromatin enzymes related to transcriptional regulation, causing alterations in epigenetic markers and chromatin structure. Given the significance of these processes, it can be understood that these processes in cancer cells are at the frontline of the pathogenetic changes required for cancer cell survival, and these contributions can result in malignant transformation. Therefore, this review addresses the current molecular biological features for understanding the multifactorial function of PARP-1 in pancreatic cancer related to the aforementioned roles, along with the summary of recent approaches with PARP-1 inhibition in clinical studies targeting pancreatic cancer. This understanding could help to embrace the importance of targeting PARP-1 in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, which may present the potential to find out a variety of research topics that can be both challenged clinically and non-clinically.
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