Pancreatic Cancer: Current Status and Challenges

Amanda R. Muñoz, Divya Chakravarthy, Jingjing Gong, Glenn A. Halff, Rita Ghosh, Addanki P. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The 5-year survival rate of patients with pancreatic cancer (PanCA) has remained stagnant. Unfortunately, the incidence is almost equal to mortality rates. These facts underscore the importance of concerted efforts to understand the pathology of this disease. Deregulation of multiple signaling pathways involved in a wide variety of cellular processes including proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis contribute not only to cancer development but also to therapeutic resistance. The purpose of this review is to summarize current understanding of etiological factors including emerging evidence on the role of infectious agents, factors associated with therapeutic resistance, and therapeutic options. Recent Findings: The unique aspect of PanCA is “desmoplasia,” a process that involves proliferation of stromal fibroblasts and collagen deposition in and around the filtrating cancer. Recent studies have identified pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) as a potential source of such desmoplasia. Biphasic interactions between PSCs and cancer cells, endothelial cells, and/or myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the tumor microenvironment contribute to pancreatic carcinogenesis. Summary: We summarize limitations of current therapeutic approaches and potential strategies to overcome these limitations using natural products including botanicals as adjuvant/neo-adjuvant for effective management of PanCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-408
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Pharmacology Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • Gemcitabine
  • Natural products
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pancreatic Cancer: Current Status and Challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this