In vitro models of pancreatic cancer for translational oncology research

Georg Feldmann, Sherri Rauenzahn, Anirban Maitra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Pancreatic cancer is a disease of near uniform fatality and the overwhelming majority of patients succumb to their advanced malignancy in a few months of diagnosis. Despite considerable advances in our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying pancreatic carcinogenesis, this knowledge has not yet been fully translated into clinically available treatment strategies that yield significant improvements in disease free or overall survival. Objective: Cell line-based in vitro model systems provide powerful tools to identify potential molecular targets for therapeutic intervention as well as for initial preclinical evaluation of novel drug candidates. Here, we provide a brief overview of recent literature on cell line-based model systems of pancreatic cancer and their application in the search for novel therapeutics against this vicious disease. Conclusion: Although in vitro models of pancreatic cancer are of tremendous value for genetic studies and for initial functional screenings in drug discovery, they carry several immanent drawbacks and are often poor in predicting therapeutic response in humans. Therefore, in most instances, they are successfully exploited to generate hypothesis and identify molecular targets for novel therapeutics, which are subsequently subject to further in-depth characterization using more advanced in vivo model systems and clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-443
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell line models
  • Drug discovery
  • Mouse models of pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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