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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 300-307

Future role of endoscopic ultrasound in personalized management of pancreatic cancer

1 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia
2 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Adelaide Hospital; Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Nam Q Nguyen
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia 5000
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/eus.eus_84_17

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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is aggressive and lethal with the majority of cases presenting with advanced unresectable disease due to delayed diagnosis. Despite improvement in surgery, chemotherapies, and intensive care medicine, the outcome of PDAC remains poor, which may relate to the tumor biology. Recent data suggest that PDAC is a “systemic cancer” with complex molecular or genomics derangement with marked heterogeneity. The ability to characterize the PDAC better by detailed evaluation of tissue biomarkers or genomics allows for improved prediction of prognosis and stratification of treatment, a concept known as “personalized cancer therapy.” Using tissue from resected PDAC specimens has several weaknesses and is only possible in 20% of patients with PDAC. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided biopsy overcomes these weaknesses, and with recent advancements in needle technology, tissue can be obtained for personalized cancer therapy for all patients with PDAC. This review aims to outline our current understanding of the molecular biology of PDAC specifically focusing on how EUS-guided biopsy may play a fundamental role in tissue acquisition, allowing for assessment and stratify therapy according to the individual cancer biology as we move toward the era of precision medicine.

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