Pancreatic carcinoma development: new etiological and pathogenetic evidence
AbstractPancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is a very aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. To date, the causes and pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the development of this malignancy remain largely unknown. Therefore, additional studies are required to improve our knowledge of the events that occur during the process of pancreatic carcinogenesis. The purpose of this article is to describe the most recent evidence, concerning the possible risk factors and mechanisms that may contribute to determine the development of PAC, as well as models, such as the tensegrity model, that may explain this complex process. Available studies suggest that approximately 15-20% of human malignancies are somehow associated with chronic infection. Some epidemiological research has shown that some infectious agents represent risk factors for PAC. In particular, several reports showed that the infection caused by some micro-organisms, including helicobacter pylori and some bacterial species of oral microbiota, as well as by viral agents, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses, is associated with an increased probability of developing PAC. For the first time, observational studies and meta-analyses have suggested that HBV and HCV, two hepatotropic viruses with oncogenic properties, may be also risk factors for PAC. However, the small number of available reports, nearly all performed in Asian populations, limits their validity to these ethnic groups. Therefore, additional studies focusing on populations of different geographical areas and enrolling larger series of patients are required to confirm this association. Furthermore, an accurate description and a better understanding of the events and of the pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the process of pancreatic carcinogenesis, as proposed by the tensegrity model, might be a useful approach to effectively deal with this pathology.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Sirio Fiorino, Letizia Bacchi-Reggiani, Laura Pontoriero, Claudio Gallo, Elisabetta Chili, Michele Masetti, Nicola Zanini, Anna Grondona, Tania Silvestri, Gaia Deleonardi, Elisabetta Magrini, Roberto Motta, Adele Fornelli, Arrigo Bondi, Dario De Biase, Paola Baccarini, Giovanni Tallini, Antonio Tropeano, Andrea Cuppini, Gastone Castellani, Elio Jovine
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