Innate and adaptive immune-directed tumour microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Ann Mary Joseph, Ahmad Al Aiyan, Basel Al-Ramadi, Shiv K. Singh, Uday Kishore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


One of the most deadly and aggressive cancers in the world, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), typically manifests at an advanced stage. PDAC is becoming more common, and by the year 2030, it is expected to overtake lung cancer as the second greatest cause of cancer-related death. The poor prognosis can be attributed to a number of factors, including difficulties in early identification, a poor probability of curative radical resection, limited response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and its immunotherapy resistance. Furthermore, an extensive desmoplastic stroma that surrounds PDAC forms a mechanical barrier that prevents vascularization and promotes poor immune cell penetration. Phenotypic heterogeneity, drug resistance, and immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment are the main causes of PDAC aggressiveness. There is a complex and dynamic interaction between tumor cells in PDAC with stromal cells within the tumour immune microenvironment. The immune suppressive microenvironment that promotes PDAC aggressiveness is contributed by a range of cellular and humoral factors, which itself are modulated by the cancer. In this review, we describe the role of innate and adaptive immune cells, complex tumor microenvironment in PDAC, humoral factors, innate immune-mediated therapeutic advances, and recent clinical trials in PDAC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1323198
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • EMT
  • immune suppression
  • immune surveillance
  • macrophages
  • PDAC
  • TME
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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