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World J Gastroenterol. Aug 28, 2014; 20(32): 11160-11181
Published online Aug 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i32.11160
Complex role for the immune system in initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer
Kristin S Inman, Amanda A Francis, Nicole R Murray
Kristin S Inman, Amanda A Francis, Nicole R Murray, Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, United States
Author contributions: Inman KS performed the research; Inman KS and Francis AA analyzed the data; Inman KS and Murray NR wrote the review.
Supported by The National Institute of Health (NIH/NCI R01CA140290-3 to Murray NR)
Correspondence to: Nicole R Murray, PhD, Consultant, Associate Professor, Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, United States.
Telephone: +1-904-9536108 Fax: +1-904-9536233
Received: October 29, 2013
Revised: February 27, 2014
Accepted: April 15, 2014
Published online: August 28, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: The development and progression of pancreatic cancer is heavily influenced by the immune response. Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) is a significant risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Immune cells recruited to the inflamed pancreas release additional cytokines and potentiate damage to the tissue. Pancreatic cancer is characterized by profound immune suppression thought to be caused by signals originating from the tumor cells. Additionally, a subset of immune cells has been shown to support the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Novel therapies for pancreatic cancer aim to utilize this unique immune environment to target this deadly disease.