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Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is currently the 4th leading cause of cancer death and projected to become the 2rd leading cause of cancer-related death by 2030 due to delayed diagnosis and slow progress in treatment development. The dismal prognosis of pancreatic cancer is caused by a variety of factors: (a) due to its location in the retroperitoneum, pancreatic cancer causes symptoms only when it has already grown to an advanced stage and is no longer locally resectable. (b) Pancreatic cancer has a tendency to disseminate not only into the bloodstream and into the lymphatic tissue but also along nerve fibers, leading to an unusually high recurrence rate even after successful R0 resection. For both these issues, a current consensus predicts that methods allowing earlier detection of pancreatic cancer would be of benefit and improve survival. (c) Pancreatic cancer is highly resistant to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and even targeted therapy.