Background: Chronic pancreatitis presents a high risk of inflammation-related progression to pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The high mortality rate is directly related to the difficulty in promptly diagnosing the disease, which often presents as overt and advanced. Hence, early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer becomes crucial, propelling research into the molecular and epigenetic landscape of the disease. Main body: Recent studies have shown that cell-free DNA methylation profiles from inflammatory diseases or cancer can vary, thus opening a new venue for the development of biomarkers for early diagnosis. In particular, cell-free DNA methylation could be employed in the identification of pre-neoplastic signatures in individuals with suspected pancreatic conditions, representing a specific and non-invasive method of early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. In this review, we describe the molecular determinants of pancreatic cancer and how these are related to chronic pancreatitis. We will then present an overview of differential methylated genes in the two conditions, highlighting their diagnostic or prognostic potential. Conclusion: Exploiting the relation between abnormally methylated cell-free DNA and pre-neoplastic lesions or chronic pancreatitis may become a game-changing approach for the development of tools for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Deciphering DNA methylation signatures of pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis

Vivo M.;
2019

Abstract

Background: Chronic pancreatitis presents a high risk of inflammation-related progression to pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The high mortality rate is directly related to the difficulty in promptly diagnosing the disease, which often presents as overt and advanced. Hence, early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer becomes crucial, propelling research into the molecular and epigenetic landscape of the disease. Main body: Recent studies have shown that cell-free DNA methylation profiles from inflammatory diseases or cancer can vary, thus opening a new venue for the development of biomarkers for early diagnosis. In particular, cell-free DNA methylation could be employed in the identification of pre-neoplastic signatures in individuals with suspected pancreatic conditions, representing a specific and non-invasive method of early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. In this review, we describe the molecular determinants of pancreatic cancer and how these are related to chronic pancreatitis. We will then present an overview of differential methylated genes in the two conditions, highlighting their diagnostic or prognostic potential. Conclusion: Exploiting the relation between abnormally methylated cell-free DNA and pre-neoplastic lesions or chronic pancreatitis may become a game-changing approach for the development of tools for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4742881
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