The Pancreatic Cancer Microenvironment

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Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is composed of a minority of malignant cells within a microenvironment of extracellular matrix, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and immune cells. Therapeutic failures of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy have all been attributed to the PDAC microenvironment. In this review, we dissect the components of the microenvironment and explain how each cell type contributes to form a highly immunosuppressive, hypoxic, and desmoplastic cancer. New efforts in single-cell profiling will enable a better understanding of the composition of the microenvironment in primary and metastatic PDAC, as well as an understanding of how the microenvironment may respond to novel therapeutic approaches.

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