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Curr Drug Targets. 2012 Jun;13(6):811-28.

Systemic therapies for pancreatic cancer--the role of pharmacogenetics.

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Department of Hematology-Oncology, National University Health System, Singapore.


Effective systemic treatment of pancreatic cancer remains a major challenge, with progress hampered by drug resistance and treatment related toxicities. Currently available cytotoxic agents as monotherapy or in combination have provided only a modest survival benefit for patients with advanced disease. Disappointing phase III results with gemcitabine-based combinations in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer might be related to poor efficacy of systemic therapies in unselected patients. Future research strategies should prioritize identification of predictive markers through pharmacogenetic investigations. The individualization of patient treatment through pharmacogenetics may help to improve outcome by maximizing efficacy whilst lowering toxicity. This review provides an update on the pharmacogenetics of pancreatic cancer treatment and its influence on treatment benefits and toxicity.

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