Strong Prognostic Value of Circulating Tumor DNA and Its Level in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

In a recent study, the presence of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) isolated from blood samples of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma was associated with poor outcomes. The article was published online on December 19, 2016 in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The article is titled “Plasma Circulating Tumor DNA in Pancreatic Cancer Patients Is a Prognostic Marker.” The senior author was Jean-Baptiste Bachet, M.D., Ph.D., from the Gastroenterology and Digestive Oncology Department at the Sorbonne University, and the Centre Universitaire des Saints-Pères, both in Paris, France. The incidence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma is on the rise in Western countries, and prognosis remains very poor. Pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States by 2030, behind lung cancer, and is therefore considered a public health problem, Dr. Bachet noted. There are several challenges to conducting translational research on pancreatic cancer, including the difficulty in obtaining tumor samples from patients, because of which, most studies have been limited to patients with resectable disease until now, Dr. Bachet explained. However, only 10 to15 percent of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma have resectable disease at diagnosis. Identification of robust prognostic or predictive biomarkers is urgently needed for all patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, whatever the stage of the disease, he said. Dr.
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