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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 492372, 14 pages
Review Article

What Is Recent in Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy?

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Florence and Patologia Medica Unit Department of Biomedicine, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, 50134 Florence, Italy
2Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, University of Florence and Patologia Medica Unit Department of Biomedicine, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, 50134 Florence, Italy
3Center of Oncologic Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy
4Division of Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini, 6, 50134 Florence, Italy

Received 21 May 2012; Accepted 6 July 2012

Academic Editor: Julie Curtsinger

Copyright © 2013 Elena Niccolai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pancreatic cancer (PC) represents an unresolved therapeutic challenge, due to the poor prognosis and the reduced response to currently available treatments. Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal type of digestive cancers, with a median survival of 4–6 months. Only a small proportion of PC patients is curative by surgical resection, whilst standard chemotherapy for patients in advanced disease generates only modest effects with considerable toxic damages. Thus, new therapeutic approaches, specially specific treatments such as immunotherapy, are needed. In this paper we analyze recent preclinical and clinical efforts towards immunotherapy of pancreatic cancer, including passive and active immunotherapy approaches, designed to target pancreatic-cancer-associated antigens and to elicit an antitumor response in vivo.