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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 267539, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/267539
Review Article

Current Immunotherapeutic Approaches in Pancreatic Cancer

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan
2Institute of Clinical Medicine and Research, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan
3Department of Oncology, Institute of DNA Medicine, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan
4Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Received 19 May 2011; Accepted 26 June 2011

Academic Editor: Bernhard Fleischer

Copyright © 2011 Shigeo Koido 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.

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer is a highly aggressive and notoriously difficult to treat. As the vast majority of patients are diagnosed at advanced stage of the disease, only a small population is curative by surgical resection. Although gemcitabine-based chemotherapy is typically offered as standard of care, most patients do not survive longer than 6 months. Thus, new therapeutic approaches are needed. Pancreatic cancer cells that develop gemcitabine resistance would still be suitable targets for immunotherapy. Therefore, one promising treatment approach may be immunotherapy that is designed to target pancreatic-cancer-associated antigens. In this paper, we detail recent work in immunotherapy and the advances in concept of combination therapy of immunotherapy and chemotherapy. We offer our perspective on how to increase the clinical efficacy of immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer.