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Genetic evolution of pancreatic cancer: lessons learnt from the pancreatic cancer genome sequencing project
  1. Christine A Iacobuzio-Donahue
  1. The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Christine A Iacobuzio-Donahue, Associate Professor of Pathology, Oncology and Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Pathology, GI/Liver Division, 1550 Orleans St, CRB2 Rm 343, Baltimore, MD 21232, USA; ciacobu{at}


Pancreatic cancer is a disease caused by the accumulation of genetic alterations in specific genes. Elucidation of the human genome sequence, in conjunction with technical advances in the ability to perform whole exome sequencing, have provided new insight into the mutational spectra characteristic of this lethal tumour type. Most recently, exomic sequencing has been used to clarify the clonal evolution of pancreatic cancer as well as provide time estimates of pancreatic carcinogenesis, indicating that a long window of opportunity may exist for early detection of this disease while in the curative stage. Moving forward, these mutational analyses indicate potential targets for personalised diagnostic and therapeutic intervention as well as the optimal timing for intervention based on the natural history of pancreatic carcinogenesis and progression.

  • Genetics
  • pancreatic cancer

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  • Funding CAI-D is supported by NIH/NCI grants CA140599, CA130938 and the V Foundation. There are no relevant financial conflicts to disclose.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.