Dr. Chiorean on the Role of Molecular Testing in Pancreatic Cancer

E. Gabriela Chiorean, MD, discusses the role of molecular testing in pancreatic cancer.

E. Gabriela Chiorean, MD, physician, clinical director, Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, professor of medicine, University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, clinical research director, Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, UW Medicine, professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses the role of molecular testing in pancreatic cancer.

Molecular testing of genes, proteins, and RNA sequencing has been a significant advance in the management of pancreatic cancer, Chiorean says. Moreover, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines indicate that all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, as well as first-degree relatives of diagnosed individuals, should undergo germline genetic testing regardless of disease stage. Additionally, patients with locally advanced, unresectable, or metastatic pancreatic cancer should undergo somatic testing via tumor biopsy or liquid biopsy if tumor testing is unavailable, Chiorean says.

Approximately 10% to 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer harbor a molecular alteration that could inform treatment decisions and provide insight into their prognosis, Chiorean says. Opening the door to additional treatment options can optimize survival for this patient population, Chiorean concludes.