Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that originates from the cells of the pancreas. It is the 12th most common type of cancer worldwide. It is also characterized by high mortality rates and therefore it is considered the 3rd most common type of cancer. Cancer initiation and development are characterized by the accumulation of genetic mutations that cause the cancer cells to divide uncontrollably. Examples of genes that have been found to be mutated in patients with pancreatic cancer include KRAS, ALK, and BRCA1 among others. FDA/EMA approved drugs are available to target pancreatic cancer, depending on the molecular profile of the tumor and the mutated genes present in each patient. One example is olaparib in BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Testing for Microsatellite instability (MSI) immunotherapy biomarker is also included in this panel, and can expand the treatment opportunities with the FDA approved immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab for patients with MSI high status.
How many genes are tested in this panel?
Recommendations by professional bodies
ESMO recommends liquid biopsy testing for patients with pancreatic cancer when tissue is not available (Pascual et al., 2022; ESMO recommendations).
References and more information:
• Information obtained from professional bodies including National Cancer Institute, World Cancer Research Fund International
• Pascual J, Attard G, Bidard FC, Curigliano G, De Mattos-Arruda L, Diehn M, Italiano A, Lindberg J, Merker JD, Montagut C, Normanno N, Pantel K, Pentheroudakis G, Popat S, Reis-Filho JS, Tie J, Seoane J, Tarazona N, Yoshino T, Turner NC. ESMO recommendations on the use of circulating tumour DNA assays for patients with cancer: a report from the ESMO Precision Medicine Working Group. Ann Oncol. 2022 Aug;33(8):750-768. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2022.05.520. Epub 2022 Jul 6. PMID: 35809752.
• Chi J, Chung SY, Prasad S, Saif MW. The Role of Olaparib in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Med J. 2021 Dec;4(3):89-91. Epub 2021 May 11. PMID: 34151318; PMCID: PMC8208637.