The treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer has not moved much beyond single agent gemcitabine until recently when protocols such as FOLFIRINOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan and oxaliplatin) and nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine have demonstrated some improved outcomes. Advances in technology especially in massively parallel genome sequencing has progressed our understanding of the biology of pancreatic cancer especially the candidate signalling pathways that are involved in tumourogenesis and disease course. This has allowed identification of potentially actionable mutations that may be targeted by new biological agents. The heterogeneity of pancreatic cancer makes tumour tissue collection important with the aim of being able to personalise therapies for the individual as opposed to a one size fits all approach to treatment of the condition. This paper reviews the developments in this area of translational research and the ongoing clinical studies that will attempt to move this into the everyday oncology practice.
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