The role of FOXA subfamily factors in embryonic development and carcinogenesis of the pancreas
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is characterized by a poor prognosis and a low median survival, despite improvements observed for many other solid tumours. Intensive research efforts have been undertaken during the last decades to discover new prognostic and treatment predictive biomarkers for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The mainstay of medical treatment for the disease has been the well-tolerated nucleoside analogue, gemcitabine. The only targeted agent currently used in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients is the epithelial growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib in combination with gemcitabine. Recently, treatment regimens such as a combination of fluorouracil-leucovorin-irinotecan-oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) and the combination of nab-paclitaxel with gemcitabine have been introduced for metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Although these treatment regimens significantly improve survival of patients, there are no good predictive biomarkers available that can be used to identify who would benefit most from them. Therefore, the search for predictive biomarkers that would facilitate personalization of chemotherapy is highly relevant.