Pancreatic adenocarcinoma: Unconventional approaches for an unconventional disease

Christopher Gromisch, Motaz Qadan, Mariana Albuquerque Machado, Kebin Liu, Yolonda Colson, Mark W. Grinstaff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This review highlights current treatments, limitations, and pitfalls in the management of pancreatic cancer and discusses current research in novel targets and drug development to overcome these clinical challenges. We begin with a review of the clinical landscape of pancreatic cancer, including genetic and environmental risk factors, as well as limitations in disease diagnosis and prevention. We next discuss current treatment paradigms for pancreatic cancer and the shortcomings of targeted therapy in this disease. Targeting major driver mutations in pancreatic cancer, such as dysregulation in the KRAS and TGFb signaling pathways, have failed to improve survival outcomes compared with nontargeted chemotherapy; thus, we describe new advances in therapy such as Ras-binding pocket inhibitors. We then review next-generation approaches in nanomedicine and drug delivery, focusing on preclinical advancements in novel optical probes, antibodies, small-molecule agents, and nucleic acids to improve surgical outcomes in resectable disease, augment current therapies, expand druggable targets, and minimize morbidity. We conclude by summarizing progress in current research, identifying areas for future exploration in drug development and nanotechnology, and discussing future prospects for management of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3179-3192
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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