Effect of adoptive T-cell immunotherapy on immunological parameters and prognosis in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer

Cytotherapy. 2021 Feb;23(2):137-145. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2020.08.001. Epub 2020 Sep 6.


Background aims: Immunotherapy is effective for many types of cancer, but its benefits in advanced pancreatic cancer, which has a poor prognosis, are not well established. In this study, the authors examined the effects of adoptive T-cell immunotherapy (ATI) on immune cell profiles and prognosis in patients with unresectable advanced pancreatic cancer.

Methods: Seventy-seven patients with unresectable advanced pancreatic cancer were treated with six cycles of αβ T cells alone or in combination with chemotherapy or chemoradiation. Immune cell profiles in peripheral blood samples obtained before and after treatment were comprehensively evaluated by flow cytometry. Furthermore, associations between changes in immune cell frequencies and prognosis were determined.

Results: ATI prolonged survival to 18.7 months compared with previous estimates of 6.2-11.1 months for patients treated with chemotherapy alone. ATI decreased CD3+CD4+CD8- T cell frequency in peripheral blood and increased CD3+CD4-CD8+ T cell frequency. An increase in CD3+ T cells and CD3+TCRγδ- T cells in peripheral blood after treatment was associated with a good prognosis.

Conclusions: ATI altered the immune profile in peripheral blood, including CD3+CD4-CD8+ T cells, and improved prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: adoptive immunotherapy; flow cytometry; immune cell profiling; pancreatic cancer; αβ T cell.

MeSH terms

  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / therapy