Targeting the tumor microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Veethika Pandey, Peter Storz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: The dismally slow improvement in patient survival over the years for pancreatic cancer patients is mainly due to two factors: the late diagnosis, at which point the disease is spread to distant organs; and the fact that tumor cells are surrounded by a dense, highly immunosuppressive microenvironment. The tumor microenvironment not only shields pancreatic cancer cells from chemotherapy but also leaves it unsusceptible to various immunotherapeutic strategies that have been proven successful in other types of cancer. Areas covered: This review highlights the main components of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment, how they cross-talk with each other to generate stroma and promote tumor growth. Additionally, we discuss the most promising treatment targets in the microenvironment whose modulation can be robustly tested in combination with standard of care chemotherapy. Currently, active clinical trials for pancreatic cancer involving components of the microenvironment are also listed. Expert opinion: Although immunotherapeutic approaches involving checkpoint inhibition are being pursued enthusiastically, there is still more work to be done with several other emerging immune targets that could provide therapeutic benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages10
JournalExpert review of anticancer therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019


  • Pancreatic cancer
  • fibroblasts
  • myeloid derived suppressor cells
  • stellate cells
  • tumor microenvironment
  • tumor-associated macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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