The Paradoxical Web of Pancreatic Cancer Tumor Microenvironment

Kelly J. Lafaro, Laleh G. Melstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is increasing in incidence and is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Despite significant advances in understanding the disease, there has been minimal increase in PDAC patient survival. PDAC tumors are unique in the fact that there is significant desmoplasia. This generates a large stromal compartment composed of immune cells, inflammatory cells, growth factors, extracellular matrix, and fibroblasts, comprising the tumor microenvironment (TME), which may represent anywhere from 15% to 85% of the tumor. It has become evident that the TME, including both the stroma and extracellular component, plays an important role in tumor progression and chemoresistance of PDAC. This review will discuss the multiple components of the TME, their specific impact on tumorigenesis, and the multiple therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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