Crosstalk between stromal cells and cancer cells in pancreatic cancer: New insights into stromal biology.

Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains one of the most lethal malignancies worldwide. Increasing evidence has confirmed the pivotal role of stromal components in the regulation of carcinogenesis, invasion, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance in PC. Interaction between neoplastic cells and stromal cells builds a specific microenvironment, which further modulates the malignant properties of cancer cells. Instead of being a "passive bystander", stroma may play a role as a "partner in crime" in PC. However, the role of stromal components in PC is complex and requires further investigation. In this article, we review recent advances regarding the regulatory roles and mechanisms of stroma biology, especially the cellular components such as pancreatic stellate cells, macrophages, neutrophils, adipocytes, epithelial cells, pericytes, mast cells, and lymphocytes, in PC. Crosstalk between stromal cells and cancer cells is thoroughly investigated. We also review the prognostic value and molecular therapeutic targets of stroma in PC. This review may help us further understand the molecular mechanisms of stromal biology and its role in PC development and therapeutic resistance. Moreover, targeting stroma components may provide new therapeutic strategies for this stubborn disease.

Cancer letters. 2017 Feb 08 [Epub]

Han-Xiang Zhan, Bin Zhou, Yu-Gang Cheng, Jian-Wei Xu, Lei Wang, Guang-Yong Zhang, San-Yuan Hu

Department of General Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, 250012, China., Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong Province, 266003, China., Department of General Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, 250012, China. Electronic address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of General Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, 250012, China. Electronic address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..