Tumor-stromal crosstalk in pancreatic cancer and tissue fibrosis

Divya Thomas, Prakash Radhakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a devastating disease with high morbidity and mortality worldwide. To date, limited therapeutic achievements targeting cell proliferation and related mechanisms has led researchers to focus on the microenvironment where pancreatic cancers develop. The anomalous proliferation of stromal cells, such as pancreatic stellate cells, and an increased deposition of altered matrix proteins create an environment that facilitates tumor growth, metastasis and drug resistance. Here, we summarize our understanding of recent advances in research about the role of fibrosis in pancreatic cancer progression, with particular emphasize on the involvement of fibrotic machineries such as wound healing, extra cellular matrix degradation, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The precise influence of these mechanisms on the biological behaviors and growth of cancer cells has great impact on clinical therapy and therefore deserves more attention. We also discuss the role of various stromal components in conferring drug resistance to PDAC which further worsening the pessimistic disease prognosis. A more in depth understanding of cancer-stroma crosstalk within the tumor microenvironment and stroma based clinical and translational therapies may provide new therapeutic strategies for the prevention of pancreatic cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalMolecular cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2019


  • Desmoplasia
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibrosis
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Stellate cells
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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