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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis which is lethal in over 90% of cases despite the standard therapies. Mainly activated by Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a key transcription factor, capable of exerting the expression of multitude of genes involved in survival. Moreover, STAT3 activity is regulated by the interleukin 28 receptor α (IL28RA) and glutathione s-transferase mu-3 (GSTM3), up-regulation of both contributes to the invasiveness of pancreatic cancer cells. In this regard, STAT3 overactivity has an important pathogenic role in the development of PDAC as it is associated with enhanced cell proliferation, survival, angiogenesis, and metastasis. STAT3-associated expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase 3 and 9 are implicated in the angiogenic and metastatic behavior of the PDAC. Multitude of evidence underline the protective role of STAT3 inhibition against PDAC both in cell cultures and in tumor grafts. However, specific inhibition of STAT3 was not feasible until recently, when a selective potent chemical STAT3 inhibitor, termed N4, were developed and it turned out to be highly effective against PDAC in vitro, as well as in vivo. This review aims to discuss the most recent advances in our understanding of STAT3 role in the pathogenesis of PDAC and its therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Hussein Riyadh Abdul Kareem Al-Hetty, Sada Jasim Abdulameer, Sami Awad Alkubaisy, Sawsan Ali Zaid, Abduladheem Turki Jalil, Ihsan Khudhair Jasim. STAT3 signaling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a candidate therapeutic target. Pathology, research and practice. 2023 May;245:154425

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PMID: 37019018

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