Epigenetics and epigenetic alterations in pancreatic cancer

Noriyuki Omura, Michael Goggins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer remains a major therapeutic challenge. In 2008, there will be approximately 37,680 new cases and 34,290 deaths attributable to pancreatic cancer in the United States (U.S.), making it the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. Recent comprehensive pancreatic cancer genome project found that pancreatic adenocarcinomas harbored 63 intragenic mutations or amplifications/homozygous deletions and these alterations clustered in 12 signaling pathways. In addition to widespread genetic alterations, it is now apparent that epigenetic mechanisms are also central to the evolution and progression of human cancers. Since epigenetic silencing processes are mitotically heritable, they can drive neoplastic progression and undergo the same selective pressure as genetic alterations. This review will describe recent developments in cancer epigenetics and their importance in our understanding of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-326
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Epigenetics
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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