From somatic mutation to early detection: insights from molecular characterization of pancreatic cancer precursor lesions

Catherine G. Fischer, Laura D. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer arises from noninvasive precursor lesions, including pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), and mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN), which are curable if detected early enough. Recently, these types of precursor lesions have been extensively characterized at the molecular level, defining the timing of critical genetic alterations in tumorigenesis pathways. The results of these studies deepen our understanding of tumorigenesis in the pancreas, providing novel insights into tumor initiation and progression. Perhaps more importantly, they also provide a rational foundation for early detection approaches that could allow clinical intervention prior to malignant transformation. In this review, we summarize the results of comprehensive molecular characterization of PanINs, IPMNs, and MCNs and discuss the implications for cancer biology as well as early detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pathology
Volume246
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • cancer genomics
  • driver gene
  • intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm
  • mucinous cystic neoplasm
  • pancreatic cancer precursor lesion
  • pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia
  • somatic mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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