Novel Targets in Pancreatic Cancer Therapy - Current Status and Ongoing Translational Efforts

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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC, pancreatic cancer) carries one of the poorest overall prognoses of all human malignancies known to date. Despite the introduction of novel therapeutic regimens, the outcome has not markedly improved over the past decades, the incidence rates are almost identical to the mortality rates, and PDAC is projected to soon become the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality in Western countries. Despite this clear medical need to develop novel therapeutic strategies against this dire malady, this need has so far not been addressed with sufficient institutional attention and support in terms of research funding and strategical programs. Given the still growing life expectancy and projected demographic changes with a growing proportion of senior citizens in many European societies, this discrepancy is likely to become even more pressing in the future. This article provides a brief overview of ongoing preclinical efforts to identify novel targets and, based on this, to develop novel strategies to treat advanced pancreatic cancer and improve survival and the quality of life of patients suffering from this malignancy.

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