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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2018, Article ID 1863535, 10 pages
Review Article

A Contemporary Review of the Treatment Landscape and the Role of Predictive and Prognostic Biomarkers in Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

1Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, British Columbia Cancer Agency, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2Section of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to Winson Y. Cheung; ac.sha@gnuehc.nosniw

Received 17 November 2017; Accepted 17 January 2018; Published 12 February 2018

Academic Editor: Kiran L. Sharma

Copyright © 2018 Irene S. Yu and Winson Y. Cheung. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pancreatic cancer continues to represent one of the leading causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Over the past decade, novel systemic therapy combination regimens have contributed to clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvements in overall survival as compared to conventional monotherapy. However, the prognosis for most patients remains guarded secondary to the advanced stages of disease at presentation. There is growing consensus that outcomes can be further optimized with the use of predictive and prognostic biomarkers whereby the former can be enriching for patients who would benefit from therapies and the latter can inform decision-making regarding the need and timing of advanced care planning. One of the challenges of current biomarkers is the lack of standardization across clinical practices such that comparability between jurisdictions can be difficult or even impossible. This inconsistency can impede widespread implementation of their use. In this review article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the contemporary treatment options for pancreatic cancer and we offer some insights into the existing landscape and future directions of biomarker development for this disease.