Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma carries a dismal prognosis. Both chemotherapy and targeted therapies have been disappointing when administered to unselected populations. Recently, progress has been made in our understanding of the genomic landscape of this cancer which displays remarkable heterogeneity suggesting a reorientation of management and research strategies based on molecular characterization and adapted personalized therapy. Resectable disease offers new opportunities for translational research through functional imaging response evaluation and tumor tissue acquisition before and after neoadjuvant therapy. There is urgent need for clinical trials based on molecular profiling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. In this review we discuss opportunities and limitations of these new strategies, underlining the importance of tissue acquisition and integration of molecular biomarkers in future molecularly driven clinical trials.
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