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Dr. Berlin on Potential Targets in Pancreatic Cancer

Jordan D. Berlin, MD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of medicine, VICC associate director for clinical research strategy, director, Phase I Program, gastrointestinal malignancies, clinical trials, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discusses potential targets in pancreatic cancer.

Jordan D. Berlin, MD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of medicine, VICC associate director for clinical research strategy, director, Phase I Program, gastrointestinal malignancies, clinical trials, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discusses potential targets in pancreatic cancer.

Some patients have HER2 amplification, though a larger percentage of patients have DNA damage repair defects, says Berlin. It may be possible to target SMAD4, and in doing so gain insight into the tumor’s behavior. There are other targets with the same potential, says Berlin. Enrollment on Precision Promise trials look very promising in that regard. Next-generation sequencing should also be used to determine what a patient’s mutation profile is.

Additionally, every patient with pancreatic cancer needs genetic counseling, not just genetic testing, says Berlin. Genetic counselors, alongside medical oncologists, are crucial in the treatment of these patients. The optimal time for genetic counseling is at diagnosis. As such, the discussion about a genetic counseling referral should be part of the initial consultation.

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