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Stromal biology and therapy in pancreatic cancer: ready for clinical translation?

Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is notoriously aggressive and hard to treat. The tumour microenvironment (TME) in PDA is highly dynamic and has been found to promote tumour progression, metastasis niche formation and therapeutic resistance. Intensive research of recent years has revealed an incredible heterogeneity and complexity of the different components of the TME, including cancer-associated fibroblasts, immune cells, extracellular matrix components, tumour vessels and nerves. It has been hypothesised that paracrine interactions between neoplastic epithelial cells and TME compartments may result in either tumour-promoting or tumour-restraining consequences. A better preclinical understanding of such complex and dynamic network systems is required to develop more powerful treatment strategies for patients. Scientific activity and the number of compelling findings has virtually exploded during recent years. Here, we provide an update of the most recent findings in this area and discuss their translational and clinical implications for basic scientists and clinicians alike.

  • pancreatic fibrosis
  • pancreatic cancer
  • molecular carcinogenesis
  • molecular oncology
  • molecular mechanisms

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