Persistent activation of pancreatic stellate cells creates a microenvironment favorable for the malignant behavior of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Int J Cancer. 2013 Mar 1;132(5):993-1003. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27715. Epub 2012 Oct 5.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most common malignant tumors with poor prognosis due to extremely high malignancy, low rate of eligibility for surgical resection and chemoradiation resistance. Increasing evidence indicate that the interaction between activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) and PDAC cells plays an important role in the development of PDAC. By producing high levels of cytokines, chemotactic factors, growth factors and excessive extracellular matrix (ECM), PSCs create desmoplasia and a hypoxic microenvironment that promote the initiation, development, evasion of immune surveillance, invasion, metastasis and resistance to chemoradiation of PDAC. Therefore, targeting the interaction between PSCs and PDAC cells may represent a novel therapeutic approach to advanced PDAC, especially therapies that target PSCs of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology*
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Stellate Cells / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Stellate Cells / pathology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / physiology*