We describe the pathology of early pancreatic cancer and present an overview of known molecular alterations that occur in these lesions. There are three defined precursor lesions in current models of pancreatic cancer: pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCN), and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN). Molecular alterations detected in these lesions include: telomeres, K-ras and downstream targets, p16/CDKN2A, p53, SMAD4/DPC4, microRNAs, mucins and their post-translational processing, inflammatory cytokines, CEACAM, and epigenetic alterations. We summarize previous analyses of these markers as diagnostic markers of disease, and suggest areas of future study.
- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN)
- Mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCN)
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)