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Abstract

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH FOR BIOSENSING OF PANCREATIC CANCER: CONCEPT AND ADVANCEMENTS

Anjana Pandey, Kishan R. Bharadwaj

ABSTRACT

Pancreatic cancer occurrence has been identified as fourth leading cause of cancer death in USA and leads to an estimated 227000 deaths per year worldwide (lancet 2011). Cancers as a group account for approximately 13% of all deaths each year with the most common being: lung cancer (1.4 million deaths), stomach cancer (740,000 deaths), liver cancer (700,000 deaths), colorectal cancer (610,000 deaths), and breast cancer (460,000 deaths).Some of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer are as follows: smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity, high fat diet, infection of Helicobacter pylori, family history of chronic pancreatitis and periodontal disease. Diabetes mellitus has been diagnosed in up to 80% of patients with pancreatic cancer. The insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptors are recurrently expressed in pancreatic cancer cells and contribute to neoplastic growth and progression. Some of the exons present in genes are mutated in pancreatic cancers, which have been revealed through results of sequencing. Some of the recurrent genetic abnormalities reported are mutational activation of KRAS oncogene, inactivation of tumour-suppressing genes comprising BRCA2, TP53, CDKN2A and SMAD4 1-41, chromosomal fatalities and telomere shortening. In few pancreatic cancers (>20%) mutated oncogenes include BRAF, MYB, AKT2, and EGFR, and tumour suppressor genes such as MAP2K4, STK11, TGFBR1, TGFBR2, ACVR1B, ACVR2A, FBXW7, and EP300. Some low frequency driver mutations in genes include PIK3CG, DGKA, STK33, TTK, and PRKCG. Beside that epigenetic modifications and release of non-coding RNAs can also alter gene functions in pancreatic cancers. The deadly nature of invasive pancreatic cancer disposes challenge to researchers for early diagnosis of this disease. A perfect screening test for diagnosis of early pancreatic cancer would be a highly accurate blood marker which could be detected and quantitated through fairly non-invasive technique. Some of the blood markers that can be used to diagnose this disease include CA 19-9, DU-PAN-2, micro-RNAs etc. Endoscopic ultrasound has been used widely to detect small pre-invasive lesions (~1 cm) as a screening test. Multimodal nanoparticles based sensing of biomarkers for this disease has the potential to combine imaging, diagnosis and therapy in a single vehicle. It is anticipated that nanotechnology will play prominent role in the quest for early diagnosis and successful therapy for this recalcitrant disease.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, Biosensor, Nanotechnology.


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