Local and systemic immunosuppression in pancreatic cancer: Targeting the stalwarts in tumor's arsenal

Clara S. Mundry, Kirsten C. Eberle, Pankaj K. Singh, Michael A. Hollingsworth, Kamiya Mehla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Late detection, compromised immune system, and chemotherapy resistance underlie the poor patient prognosis for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients, making it the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Cooperation between the tumor cells and the immune system leads to the immune escape and eventual establishment of the tumor. For more than 20 years, sincere efforts have been made to intercept the tumor-immune crosstalk and identify the probable therapeutic targets for breaking self-tolerance toward tumor antigens. However, the success of these studies depends on detailed examination and understanding of tumor-immune cell interactions, not only in the primary tumor but also at distant systemic niches. Innate and adaptive arms of the immune system sculpt tumor immunogenicity, where they not only aid in providing an amenable environment for their survival but also act as a driver for tumor relapse at primary or distant organ sites. This review article highlights the key events associated with tumor-immune communication and associated immunosuppression at both local and systemic microenvironments in PDAC. Furthermore, we discuss the approaches and benefits of targeting both local and systemic immunosuppression for PDAC patients. The present articles integrate data from clinical and genetic mouse model studies to provide a widespread consensus on the role of local and systemic immunosuppression in undermining the anti-tumor immune responses against PDAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188387
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Bone marrow
  • Checkpoint inhibitors
  • Lymph nodes
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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