Immunological combination treatment holds the key to improving survival in pancreatic cancer.
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Advances in surgery, peri-operative care and systemic chemotherapy have not significantly improved the prognosis of pancreatic cancer for several decades. Early clinical trials of immunotherapy have yielded disappointing results proposing other means by which the tumour microenvironment serves to decrease the immune response. Additionally, the emergence of various subtypes of pancreatic cancer has emerged as a factor for treatment responses with immunogenic subtypes carrying a better prognosis. Herein we discuss the reasons for the poor response to checkpoint inhibitors and outline a rationale why combination treatments are likely to be most effective. We review the therapies which could provide optimal synergistic effects to immunotherapy including chemotherapy, agents targeting the stroma, co-stimulatory molecules, vaccinations and methods of immunogenic tumour priming including radiofrequency ablation. Finally, we discuss reasons why peri-operative and in particular neoadjuvant combination treatments are likely to be most effective and should be considered for early clinical trials.
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Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Combined Modality Therapy
Systems and Precision Cancer Medicine
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Journal of cancer research and clinical oncology, 2020, 146 (11), pp. 2897 - 2911