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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00952

The mutational landscape of pancreatic and liver cancer, as represented by circulating tumour DNA

  • 1Imperial College London, United Kingdom

The mutational landscapes of pancreatic and liver cancer share many common genetic alterations which drive cancer progression. However, these mutations do not occur in all cases of these diseases, and this tumoural heterogeneity impedes diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic development. One minimally invasive method for the evaluation of tumour mutations is the analysis of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), released through apoptosis, necrosis and active secretion by tumour cells into various body fluids. By observing mutations in those genes which promote transformation by controlling the cell cycle and oncogenic signalling pathways, a representation of the mutational profile of the tumour is revealed. The analysis of ctDNA is a promising technique for investigating these two gastrointestinal cancers, as many studies have reported on the accuracy of ctDNA assessment for diagnosis and prognosis using a variety of techniques.

Keywords: circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), Pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma (PDAC), hepatocellular cancer (HCC), somatic mutations in cancer, tumour heterogeneity, KRAS, TP53 (p53), CDKN2A, TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase)

Received: 30 Oct 2018; Accepted: 09 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Rice and Del Rio Hernandez. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Armando Del Rio Hernandez, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, a.del-rio-hernandez@imperial.ac.uk