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Breaking the Shield that Protects Pancreatic Cancer from Immunotherapy

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Scar-like cells that make up a sizable portion of malignant pancreatic tumors and shield these cancers from immune attack are derived from mesothelial cells that line tissues and organs, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers suggests. The findings, published in Cancer Cell, could offer a new strategy to fight pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease for which no truly effective treatments exist.

“By targeting antigen-presenting cancer-associated fibroblasts, we might someday be able significantly to enhance the activity of immune therapy in pancreatic cancer patients,” said Huocong Huang, M.D., Ph.D., Instructor of Surgery at UTSW. Dr. Huang co-led the study with Rolf A. Brekken, Ph.D., Professor of Surgery, Pharmacology, and in UTSW’s Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read more . . .

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