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Pancreatic carcinogenesis: The impact of chronic pancreatitis and its clinical relevance

Author(s): Shrikhande S | Barreto G | Koliopanos A

Journal: Indian Journal of Cancer
ISSN 0019-509X

Volume: 46;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 288;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Chronic pancreatitis | pancreatic cancer | pancreatic carcinogenesis | inflammation | pancreatic head mass | risk of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with a dismal prognosis and early detection remains a challenge. On the background that inflammation is one of the key steps in the development of cancer, it is natural that chronic pancreatitis is considered as one of the etiological factors for the development of pancreatic cancer. However, the process of pancreatic carcinogenesis is a multifactorial phenomenon rather than a process that evolves solely via inflammation. This review attempts to put into perspective the association between different etiological forms of chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, and the diverse mechanisms operational in the process of pancreatic carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the clinical relevance of the current understanding of the relationship between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, especially with regard to the pancreatic head mass of uncertain etiology, is discussed in this review.
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