Published online Aug 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i32.11160
Revised: February 27, 2014
Accepted: April 15, 2014
Published online: August 28, 2014
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.