Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with poor survival. Of all newly diagnosed patients, only about 20% can benefit from a potentially curative surgical resection, the remaining 80% presenting with unresectable locally advanced (LAPC) or metastatic (MPC) disease. Currently, there are limited therapeutic options for LAPC and MPC patients. Furthermore, despite intensive research efforts to better understand the molecular bases of PDAC and the biological relevance of its tumor microenvironment, treatments still largely consist of classical cytotoxic chemotherapy agents. Several studies of genetic and epigenetic sequencing have demonstrated the existence of 4 molecular PDAC subtypes, with heterogeneous genetic characteristics and different biological behaviour: squamous, pancreatic progenitor, immunogenic and aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine (ADEX). These distinct subtypes derive from alterations at multiple levels. Apart from the DNA repair pathway, however, none of these has so far been validated as a clinically relevant therapeutic target. Also, PDAC is unique from an immunological perspective and many studies have recently tried to elucidate the role of intratumoral effector T-cells, RAS oncogene, immunosuppressive leukocytes and desmoplastic reaction in maintaining the immunological homeostasis of this disease. However, there still remains much to be learned about the mechanisms whereby the pancreatic immune microenvironment promotes immune escape of cancer cells. Furthermore, while therapies targeting the stroma as well as immunotherapies hold promise for the future, these are not yet standard of care. This review aims to outline the state-of-the-art of LAPC and MPC treatment, highlighting data on the target therapies failure and current ongoing clinical trials on new promising therapeutic strategies.

New therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer

Lai E.;Mariani S.;Soro P.;Musio F.;Persano M.;Donisi C.;Balconi F.;Pireddu A.;Scartozzi M.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with poor survival. Of all newly diagnosed patients, only about 20% can benefit from a potentially curative surgical resection, the remaining 80% presenting with unresectable locally advanced (LAPC) or metastatic (MPC) disease. Currently, there are limited therapeutic options for LAPC and MPC patients. Furthermore, despite intensive research efforts to better understand the molecular bases of PDAC and the biological relevance of its tumor microenvironment, treatments still largely consist of classical cytotoxic chemotherapy agents. Several studies of genetic and epigenetic sequencing have demonstrated the existence of 4 molecular PDAC subtypes, with heterogeneous genetic characteristics and different biological behaviour: squamous, pancreatic progenitor, immunogenic and aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine (ADEX). These distinct subtypes derive from alterations at multiple levels. Apart from the DNA repair pathway, however, none of these has so far been validated as a clinically relevant therapeutic target. Also, PDAC is unique from an immunological perspective and many studies have recently tried to elucidate the role of intratumoral effector T-cells, RAS oncogene, immunosuppressive leukocytes and desmoplastic reaction in maintaining the immunological homeostasis of this disease. However, there still remains much to be learned about the mechanisms whereby the pancreatic immune microenvironment promotes immune escape of cancer cells. Furthermore, while therapies targeting the stroma as well as immunotherapies hold promise for the future, these are not yet standard of care. This review aims to outline the state-of-the-art of LAPC and MPC treatment, highlighting data on the target therapies failure and current ongoing clinical trials on new promising therapeutic strategies.
Molecular subtypes; Pancreatic cancer; Targeted therapy; Adenocarcinoma; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Clinical Trials as Topic; Humans; Molecular Targeted Therapy; Mutation; Neoplastic Stem Cells; Pancreatic Neoplasms; Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras); Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor; Tumor Microenvironment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/282737
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