Complexities in the Microenvironment of Pancreatic Cancer Cells Highlight the Difficulties in Developing Targeted Therapies.

Jeffrey Shuart


Pancreatic cancer is a devastating and frightening diagnosis to present to a patient. This is a disease that carries significant morbidity and mortality. Equally disheartening is the fact that there are few treatment options that carry long-term benefits. The only curative hope is surgical intervention which is usually not available to the majority of patients because of the advanced stage of disease at the time of diagnosis. Surgical intervention carries significant morbidity and mortality as well. Conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are essentially palliative care. As we seek new and innovative methods of treatment we have to consider the nature of this aggressive and resistant tumor. There are number of factors involved in the nature of pancreatic cancer that make its resistance to treatment more difficult to overcome. In this series of papers we look at a number of different approaches that are currently being explored to better understand the nature of this devastating disease and its mechanisms of resistance. We also present possibilities for the future and potential targets for new and unique therapies.

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