Mechanistic Analysis of Pancreatic Ductal Carcinogenesis in Hamsters

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In this article, we introduce our rapid-production model for pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas and describe the mechanisms of pancreatic duct carcinogenesis so far elucidated in Syrian golden hamsters. It is evident that a series of histo-genetic steps are involved, leading from hyperplasia through atypical hyperplasia to intraductal carcinoma and invasive carcinoma. As DNA alters, K-ras mutation appears to be an early event, whereas p53 mutations generally occur in the tumor-progression phase. The induced cancer cells may show auto-crine growth, secreting TGF-a and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and are immortalized with a shortened TRF length and increased telomerase activity. The rapid-production model of pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas has not only provided a major stimulus to understanding induction mechanisms but should also serve as a bioassay to facilitate the identification of dietary risk factors and the search for appropriate chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic agents or both to help control this deadly disease.

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