Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: A review of immunologic aspects

Megan B. Wachsmann, Laurentiu M. Pop, Ellen S. Vitetta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

36 Scopus citations


With the continued failures of both early diagnosis and treatment options for pancreatic cancer, it is now time to comprehensively evaluate the role of the immune system on the development and progression of pancreatic cancer. It is important to develop strategies that harness the molecules and cells of the immune system to treat this disease. This review will focus primarily on the role of immune cells in the development and progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and to evaluate what is known about the interaction of immune cells with the tumor microenvironment and their role in tumor growth and metastasis. We will conclude with a brief discussion of therapy for pancreatic cancer and the potential role for immunotherapy.We hypothesize that the role of the immune system in tumor development and progression is tissue specific. Our hope is that better understanding of this process will lead to better treatments for this devastating disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-663
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012



  • Immune
  • Immune response
  • Immunotherapy
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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