Over the last 3 decades, there have been substantial improvements in diagnostic imaging and sampling techniques to evaluate pancreatic diseases. The modern technology has helped us to recognize premalignant conditions of pancreas including mucinous cystic neoplasms and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). Differentiation between benign and malignant lesions and early detection of any malignant transformation in premalignant lesion are extremely important for further management decisions. Diagnostic cytology has limited sensitivity to further differentiate between benign, premalignant, and malignant lesions of the pancreas. There is limited information about the epidemiological risk factors and molecular mechanisms leading to development and further progression to malignancy of IPMNs. Several studies have shown that pancreatic juice and pancreatic tissue from the lesion can be tested for molecular markers including K-ras, p53, and p16 to differentiate between cancer and chronic inflammatory process. We review cellular signaling pathways that contribute to pathogenesis of IPMNs of the pancreas to further identify potential biomarkers and molecular targets.
- molecular pathology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism