Immunotherapy for patients with advanced pancreatic carcinoma: a promising treatment

Oncotarget. 2017 Jan 24;8(4):5703-5716. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13968.


There are limited data on the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APC). A meta-analysis of single-arm trials is proposed to assess the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy for APC. Eighteen relevant studies involving 527 patients were identified. The pooled disease control rate (DCR), overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS), and 1-year survival rate were estimated as 59.32%, 7.90 months, 4.25 months, and 30.12%, respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that the pooled OS, PFS, and 1-year survival rate were significantly higher for autologous activated lymphocyte therapy compared with peptide-based vaccine therapy (OS: 8.28 months vs. 7.40 months; PFS: 6.04 months vs. 3.86 months; 1-year survival rate: 37.17% vs. 19.74%). Another subgroup analysis demonstrated that the pooled endpoints were estimated as obviously higher for immunotherapy plus chemotherapy compared with immunotherapy alone (DCR: 62.51% vs. 47.63%; OS: 8.67 months vs. 4.91 months; PFS: 4.91 months vs. 3.34 months; 1-year survival rate: 32.32% vs. 21.43%). Of the included trials, seven trials reported no treatment related adverse events , five trials reported (16.6 ± 3.9) % grade 3 adverse events and no grade 4 adverse events. In conclusion, immunotherapy is safe and effective in the treatment of APC.

Keywords: advanced pancreatic cancer; adverse events; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; overall survival.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Lymphocyte Transfusion / adverse effects
  • Lymphocyte Transfusion / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cancer Vaccines