Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Apr 15, 2021; 13(4): 231-237
Published online Apr 15, 2021. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v13.i4.231
Nanotechnology and pancreatic cancer management: State of the art and further perspectives
Damiano Caputo, Daniela Pozzi, Tommaso Farolfi, Roberto Passa, Roberto Coppola, Giulio Caracciolo
Damiano Caputo, Tommaso Farolfi, Roberto Passa, Roberto Coppola, Department of General Surgery, University Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome 00128, Italy
Daniela Pozzi, Giulio Caracciolo, Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00161, Italy
Author contributions: Caputo D contributed to conception or design of the work; Farolfi T and Passa R contributed to data collection; Caputo D, Pozzi D and Caracciolo G contributed to data analysis and interpretation; Caputo D and Caracciolo G contributed drafting the article; Caputo D, Pozzi D, Coppola R and Caracciolo G contributed to critical revision of the article; all authors did the final approval of the version to be published.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All Authors declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Damiano Caputo, FACS, MD, Associate Professor, Surgeon, Department of General Surgery, University Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Via Álvaro del Portillo, 200, Rome 00128, Italy.
Received: January 12, 2021
Peer-review started: January 12, 2021
First decision: February 11, 2021
Revised: February 21, 2021
Accepted: March 12, 2021
Article in press: March 12, 2021
Published online: April 15, 2021

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) represents a leading cause of cancer death and is often diagnosticated too late to allow adequate treatments. Lots of biomarkers have been discovered in lasts years but, to date, there is a lack of low-cost and non-invasive tools for PDAC early detection. Nonetheless, drugs commonly used in PDAC treatment do not allow achieving long-term satisfying results. Nanotechnology is gaining importance in both PDAC early detection and treatment. The main implications of nanotechnology in cancer diagnosis lay in the ability that nanoparticles have on concentrate the alteration in human proteome caused by cancer. Nanoparticle-enabled blood tests have been demonstrated to reach high rate of sensitivity (up to 85%) and specificity (up to 100%). In the field of cancer therapy nanoparticles can be used as nanocarriers able to reach specific tumour’s cells and selectively release the drug they contain into them. A literature review was carried out with the aim to assess the state of the art and highlight the future perspectives of nanotechnology in PDAC early detection and therapy.

Keywords: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, Biomarkers, Nanotechnology, Nanoparticles, Protein corona, Early detection

Core Tip: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is very lethal. Surgery is the only effective treatment. Unfortunately, only 20% of PDACs can be radically resected because of the lack of tools for early diagnosis and since chemotherapy agents fail to reach satisfying prognosis. Nanoparticles can amplify the cancer-induced proteome alteration allowing early cancer detection and can also be used in cancer treatment as carriers improving the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This review focuses the actual and futures implications of nanotechnology in PDAC diagnosis and treatment.