Actionable intelligence provided by pancreatic cancer genomic landscape: are targets for curative therapy on the map?

Nathan A. Berger


Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a devastating disease with severely debilitating comorbidities and dismal prognosis. In 2015, the worldwide incidence of new cases was estimated to be 367,000, and approximately 359,000 were expected to die from this disease (1). In the Western world, it is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths (1). Overall survival for newly diagnosed PDAC is usually measured in months and while modest improvements have been made in 1-year survival, now estimated at 20% overall; 5-year survival remains less than 10%. Two problems that contribute to this dismal survival are (1) that PDAC is most commonly diagnosed when it is beyond cure by surgical resection and (2) there is a general lack of effective systemic chemotherapy (1).