Open Access Open Badges Research article

RON is not a prognostic marker for resectable pancreatic cancer

Carole M Tactacan1, David K Chang1238, Mark J Cowley18, Emily S Humphrey1, Jianmin Wu18, Anthony J Gill1458, Angela Chou168, Katia Nones78, Sean M Grimmond78, Robert L Sutherland18, Andrew V Biankin1238, Roger J Daly18* and and Australian Pancreratic Genome Initiative

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia

2 Department of Surgery, Bankstown Hospital, Eldridge Road, Bankstown, Sydney, NSW 2200, Australia

3 South Western Sydney Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of NSW, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia

4 Department of Anatomical Pathology, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia

5 Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

6 Department of Anatomical Pathology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia

7 Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

8 Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative Consortium, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 372 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:395  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-395

Published: 7 September 2012



The receptor tyrosine kinase RON exhibits increased expression during pancreatic cancer progression and promotes migration, invasion and gemcitabine resistance of pancreatic cancer cells in experimental models. However, the prognostic significance of RON expression in pancreatic cancer is unknown.


RON expression was characterized in several large cohorts, including a prospective study, totaling 492 pancreatic cancer patients and relationships with patient outcome and clinico-pathologic variables were assessed.


RON expression was associated with outcome in a training set, but this was not recapitulated in the validation set, nor was there any association with therapeutic responsiveness in the validation set or the prospective study.


Although RON is implicated in pancreatic cancer progression in experimental models, and may constitute a therapeutic target, RON expression is not associated with prognosis or therapeutic responsiveness in resected pancreatic cancer.

Receptor tyrosine kinase; Biomarker; Gemcitabine; Chemotherapy