The role of autophagy in pancreatic cancer-Recent advancesMore about Open Access at the Crick
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the deadliest cancers with a 5-year survival rate of only 9%, despite ongoing efforts to improve treatment. This dismal prognosis is due to the difficulty of early stage diagnosis, drug resistance, and likelihood of metastasis development. It is therefore of great importance to identify appropriate therapeutic targets and gain a greater understanding of PDAC biology. Autophagy is a membrane-mediated degradation and recycling mechanism, which is crucial for cell homeostasis. There is evidence for both a tumor-suppressive and a tumor-promoting role of autophagy in cancer, and this is likely context dependent. Within PDAC, a large body of evidence points towards autophagy being required for tumor survival and metabolism. In this review, we describe the recent advances in the understanding of the role and regulation of autophagy in PDAC.
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