Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Prognostic relevance of extracellular vesicles and circulating nucleic acids in patients undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
pancreatic cancer; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; biomarkers; liquid biopsy; extracellular vesicles; miRNA; cell-free DNA; treatment response
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on September 28, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  360  13,389  12,558  34.88 
Scopus  344  15,257  14,342  41.69 
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  51509  David Badovinac  Oncology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  34 
2.  34769  Tanja Blagus  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 - 2023  67 
3.  11711  PhD Vita Dolžan  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  746 
4.  33110  PhD Katja Goričar  Oncology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  270 
5.  33344  PhD Marija Holcar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2021 - 2023  38 
6.  24288  PhD Metka Lenassi  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2021 - 2023  193 
7.  51515  Miha Petrič  Oncology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  87 
8.  38239  PhD Sara Redenšek Trampuž  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  55 
9.  07086  Savica Soldat    Technical associate  2021 - 2022 
10.  16359  PhD Aleš Tomažič  Oncology  Head  2021 - 2023  296 
11.  15895  PhD Blaž Trotovšek  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2021 - 2023  277 
12.  54162  Hana Zavrtanik  Oncology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  23 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  74,787 
2.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  45,068 
Poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer is importantly related to the lack of effective treatment strategies and difficulties in diagnosing the disease early. Currently available tumour markers lack sensitivity and specificity to be used for disease detection in asymptomatic patients. Most patients are diagnosed at a late stage and at the time of presentation, only around 20% of patients are eligible for surgical resection. Moreover, despite preoperatively seemingly resectable tumour, unresectable, locally advanced, or even metastatic disease is often discovered upon surgical exploration. Liquid biopsy has become a broadly used clinical approach in various malignancies for molecular profiling of genetic landscapes throughout disease progression. Our research project aims to identify novel non-invasive prognostic and predictive biomarkers in patients with pancreatic cancer undergoing surgery with curative intent. We have designed a longitudinal data and biological sample collection for identification of novel non-invasive biomarkers to assess treatment response and predict clinical outcomes. In the experimental part of our study, we will evaluate microRNAs and/or tumour-specific DNA mutations in plasma and in extracellular vesicles along with other extracellular vesicles’ characteristics as non-invasive prognostic and predictive biomarkers as well as markers of tumour biology. Importantly, extracellular vesicles will be assessed as a distinct source of tumour circulating nucleic acids that may be complementary to other liquid biopsy biomarker sources. Abovementioned biomarkers will be studied 1) in regard to tumour resection to determine their role as a marker of resection radicality; 2) at different time points during follow-up to assess whether they could indicate disease-progression or recurrence; 3) in association with overall survival to define their prognostic and predictive value. Circulating nucleic acids and extracellular vesicles offer great potential to significantly improve clinical decision making in patients with pancreatic cancer. Application of such novel non-invasive blood-based biomarkers for use in clinical practice would allow various treatment modalities to be tailored to each individual patient in regard to tumour characteristics and its prognosis, consequently, leading to improved outcomes and prolonged survival.
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