DOI: 10.3390/cancers15174265 ISSN:

Advances in Immunotherapeutics in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Tarak Chouari, Francesca Soraya La Costa, Nabeel Merali, Maria-Danae Jessel, Shivan Sivakumar, Nicola Annels, Adam E. Frampton
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) accounts for up to 95% of all pancreatic cancer cases and is the seventh-leading cause of cancer death. Poor prognosis is a result of late presentation, a lack of screening tests and the fact some patients develop resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Novel therapies like immunotherapeutics have been of recent interest in pancreatic cancer. However, this field remains in its infancy with much to unravel. Immunotherapy and other targeted therapies have yet to yield significant progress in treating PDAC, primarily due to our limited understanding of the disease immune mechanisms and its intricate interactions with the tumour microenvironment (TME). In this review we provide an overview of current novel immunotherapies which have been studied in the field of pancreatic cancer. We discuss their mechanisms, evidence available in pancreatic cancer as well as the limitations of such therapies. We showcase the potential role of combining novel therapies in PDAC, postulate their potential clinical implications and the hurdles associated with their use in PDAC. Therapies discussed with include programmed death checkpoint inhibitors, Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4, Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T cell therapy, oncolytic viral therapy and vaccine therapies including KRAS vaccines, Telomerase vaccines, Gastrin Vaccines, Survivin-targeting vaccines, Heat-shock protein (HSP) peptide complex-based vaccines, MUC-1 targeting vaccines, Listeria based vaccines and Dendritic cell-based vaccines.

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