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Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancer types known with no successful clinical therapy available and a 5-year survival rate of < 5%. Demographic calculations predict pancreatic cancer to be the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2030. Hence, the identification of novel drug targets and the subsequent development of novel therapeutic strategies are of utmost importance. In this review, the authors describe the role of the transcription factor pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) in pancreatic organ development and pancreatic cancer. Published data suggest that Pdx1 possesses oncogenic traits fostering cell proliferation, inhibition of apoptosis and increased cell invasion. Resulting from these findings, the authors discuss the potential use of Pdx1 as an anticancer drug target. In summary, Pdx1 should be considered as an interesting potential molecular target in future therapeutic approaches. Although no specific therapies exploiting Pdx1 are available at the moment and more preclinical data has to be accumulated, several putative applications in the areas of cancer diagnostics and therapy are conceivable.


Volker Fendrich, Matthias Lauth. The role of pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 as a therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer. Expert opinion on therapeutic targets. 2014 Nov;18(11):1277-83

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PMID: 25078025

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