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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2018 Jul;144(7):1205-1217. doi: 10.1007/s00432-018-2651-3. Epub 2018 May 2.

Status and future directions in the management of pancreatic cancer: potential impact of nanotechnology.

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Department of Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY, 11439, USA.
Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 1 Discovery Drive, Rensselaer, NY, 12144, USA.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is typically diagnosed at a late stage, has limited treatments, and patients have poor survival rates. It currently ranks as the seventh leading cause of cancer deaths globally and has increasing rates of diagnosis. Improved PDAC treatment requires the development of innovative, effective, and economical therapeutic drugs. The late stage diagnosis limits options for surgical resection, and traditional PDAC chemotherapeutics correlate with increased organ and hematologic toxicity. In addition, PDAC tumor tissue is dense and highly resistant to many traditional chemotherapeutic applications, making the disease difficult to treat and impeding options for palliative care. New developments in nanotechnology may offer innovative options for targeted PDAC therapeutic drug delivery. Nanotechnology can be implemented using multimodality methods that offer increased opportunities for earlier diagnosis, precision enhanced imaging, targeted long-term tumor surveillance, and controlled drug delivery, as well as improved palliative care and patient comfort. Nanoscale delivery methods have demonstrated the capacity to infiltrate the dense, fibrous tumor tissue associated with PDAC, increasing delivery and effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents and reducing toxicity through the loading of multiple drug therapies on a single nano delivery vehicle. This review presents an overview of nanoscale drug delivery systems and multimodality carriers at the forefront of new PDAC treatments.


Chemotherapy; Fibrosis; Metastasis; Radiation; Stem cell; Targeted therapy

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