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Cancer J. 2001 Jul-Aug;7(4):251-8.

Molecular pathology of pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Until recently, pancreatic cancer was a poorly understood disease. Research in the past decade has shown conclusively, however, that pancreatic cancer is primarily genetic in nature. Inactivation with a variety of tumor-suppressor genes such as p16, DPC4, and p53, coupled with activation of oncogenes such as K-ras, are a few of the mutations that trigger the growth of cancerous cells. Understanding these mutations is critical to a better understanding of familial pancreatic cancer and to the development of gene-based screening tests and therapies. In this article, we review the genetic alterations identified in pancreatic cancer and provide examples of how this information can be applied to patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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