TAMing pancreatic cancer: combat with a double edged sword.

Molecular Cancer  2019 March | https://dx.doi.org/10.1186%2Fs12943-019-0966-6  

Manendra Babu Lankadasari, Pramiti Mukhopadhyay, Sabira Mohammed, Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar

Abstract

Among all the deadly cancers, pancreatic cancer ranks seventh in mortality. The absence of any grave symptoms coupled with the unavailability of early prognostic and diagnostic markers make the disease incurable in most of the cases. This leads to a late diagnosis, where the disease would have aggravated and thus, incurable. Only around 20% of the cases present the early disease diagnosis. Surgical resection is the prime option available for curative local disease but in the case of advanced cancer, chemotherapy is the standard treatment modality although the patients end up with drug resistance and severe side effects. Desmoplasia plays a very important role in chemoresistance associated with pancreatic cancer and consists of a thick scar tissue around the tumor comprised of different cell populations. The interplay between this heterogenous population in the tumor microenvironment results in sustained tumor growth and metastasis. Accumulating evidences expose the crucial role played by the tumor-associated macrophages in pancreatic cancer and this review briefly presents the origin from their parent lineage and the importance in maintaining tumor hallmarks. Finally we have tried to address their role in imparting chemoresistance and the therapeutic interventions leading to reduced tumor burden.

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