Once again we are nearing the end of the year, and here at the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network, we’ve invited our members, colleagues and regular SCPN Newsletter contributors to recommend what they have been reading on cancer prevention during 2016. We’ve asked each of them to recommend one paper which they thought would be valuable to share. This week our second instalment comes to us courtesy of Prof James Garden of Edinburgh University, we hope you enjoy.

Title: Pancreatic Cancer

Authors: Kleef J et al.

Weblink: http://www.nature.com/articles/nrdp201622



Why is this paper important?

This is a very useful overview of where we are with early diagnosis and management of a cancer that presents late in an organ that is relatively inaccessible, and carries a dismal overall outlook. It highlights the efforts that are being placed by researchers on earlier diagnosis and in developing new treatments. It challenges the traditional view that pancreatic adenocarcinoma represents a single tumour type and stresses the key role that the microenvironment has in facilitating cancer progression and in impeding drug delivery.

Main take home messages

  • neoplastic cells can take many years to develop so there is a window of opportunity
  • early detection is challenging since there are few overt symptoms and we lack reliable biomarkers
  • some may benefit from screening if there is a family history or a known high risk genetic condition
  • pancreatic cancers have few common mutations
  • the future will be a multifaceted approach for effective treatment involving targeting cancer cells and reprogramming the stromal environment

We’ll be sharing Papers of the Year throughout December – keep an eye out on our Twitter feed for more updates. Each of the papers will be available here as they are posted.