Understanding the immune response and the current landscape of immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer

World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Oct 28;27(40):6775-6793. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i40.6775.ABSTRACTPancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive tumor with high lethality. Even with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and other locoregional or systemic therapies, the survival rates for PDAC are low and have not significantly changed in the past decades. The special characteristics of the PDAC's microenvironment and its complex immune escape mechanism need to be considered when designing novel therapeutic approaches in this disease. PDAC is characterized by chronic inflammation with a high rate of tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells and a low rate of natural killer and effector T cells. The pancreatic microenvironment is a fibrotic, microvascularized stroma that isolates the tumor from systemic vascularization. Immunotherapy, a novel approach that has demonstrated effectiveness in certain solid tumors, has failed to show any practice-changing results in pancreatic cancer, with the exception of PDACs with mismatch repair deficiency and high tumor mutational burden, which show prolonged survival rates with immunotherapy. Currently, numerous clinical trials are attempting to assess the efficacy of immunotherapeutic strategies in PDAC, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and adoptive cell transfer, alone or in combination with other immunotherapeutic agents, chemoradiotherapy, and other targeted therapies. A deep understanding...
Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG - Category: Gastroenterology Authors: Source Type: research

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