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NK cells lyse poorly differentiated but not well-differentiated pancreatic cancer cells; role of NK cells in selection and differentiation of pancreatic cancer stem cells


Pancreatic cancer remains one of the major unresolved health problems. Conventional cancer treatments have little impact on disease course. The response to conventional therapies such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy is poor and has little or no effect on the natural progress of this malignancy. Therefore, new strategies to tackle pancreatic cancers are needed to reduce delayed diagnosis, relative chemotherapy and radiation resistance, and an intrinsic biologic aggressiveness contributing to the abysmal prognosis associated with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The background knowledge of understanding tumor microenvironment and mechanism between immune cells and tumorigenesis are still unclear. However, immunosuppression and tumor escape from immune recognition are thought to be the two major factors responsible for the establishment and progression of cancer. A number of factors responsible for the suppression of NK cell cytotoxicity in humans have been identified previously. In this study, we investigated that NK cells limit the number of stem cells and immune inflammatory cells by selecting those with a greater potential for differentiation in the repair process of the tissues and they also support differentiation of the stem cells and subsequent regeneration of the tissues. Therefore, immunotherapy would be the future goal to achieve success in curing pancreatic cancer.

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