Immunologic alterations in the pancreatic cancer microenvironment of patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has dismal 5-year survival (<9%). We hypothesize that exposure of tumors to conventional therapies may preferentially modulate immune biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment in PDAC. PDAC patients who underwent upfront surgical resection or who received neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX with or without neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by surgical resection were selected for study. Total expression of immunologically relevant transcripts and spatially resolved expression of immunologically relevant proteins was quantitated using multiplexed methods (NanoString nCounter and GeoMX platforms). This analysis identified numerous differentially expressed transcripts associated with the type of neoadjuvant therapy received. Moreover, we identified significant alterations in the expression and/or spatial distribution of immunologically relevant proteins in different regions (tumor cell rich, immune cell rich, stromal cell rich) of the tumor microenvironment. These data provide insight into the immunological effects of clinically relevant neoadjuvant therapy for resectable/borderline-resectable PDAC by describing significant differences in the expression of key immunologic biomarkers within the PDAC microenvironment that were associated with the type of treatment patients received prior to surgical resection. This represents a comprehensive analysis of numerous biomarkers conducted on the PDAC microenvironment. This work may guide strategic new combination therapies for pancreatic cancer.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has dismal five-year survival (<9%). We examined the impact of neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX alone or in combination with radiation therapy (conventional radiotherapy, XRT, or stereotactic body radiotherapy, SBRT) on immunologically relevant genes in the PDAC tumor microenvironment (TME). We hypothesize conventional therapies may induce immune alterations in the TME that can be leveraged to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy in PDAC. PDAC patients who underwent upfront surgical resection or who received neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX with or without neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by surgical resection were selected for study. The expression of 730 immunologically relevant transcripts was quantitated using the Nanostring PanCancer immune profiling panel (Platform GPL19965). This analysis identified189 genes that were differentially expressed at the RNA level on the basis of neoadjuvant therapy. On average specimens were obtained 6.6-17.0 weeks after the conclusion of neoadjuvant therapy, depending on treatment group. These data provide insight into the immunological effects of standard of care neoadjuvant therapy for resectable/borderline-resectable PDAC. This work provides data to guide strategic new combination therapies for pancreatic cancer. Overall design: Gene expression profiles were generated on a total of 24 individuals who underwent surgical resection for PDAC at Emory University using the Nanostring PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel (XT-CSO-HIP1-12; Platform GPL19965). Patients who received upfront surgical resection (no neoadjuvant therapy) served as an overall control group for comparison purposes (n=6). Patients who received neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX served as a secondary comparator-control (n=6). These two groups were compared to each other, and to patients who received neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX and neoadjuvant radiation therapy (steriotactic body radiotherapy or conventional external beam radiotherapy, n=6 each). Following image acquisition mRNA counts were extracted from raw RCC files using nSolver analysis software v3.0 (Nanostring). Data was then normalized using nSolver.
Project description:<h4>Background/aims</h4>: Controversy regarding the effectiveness of neoadjuvant therapy for resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) still exists. Here, we aimed to identify the potential benefits of neoadjuvant therapy followed by surgery for resectable PDAC.<h4>Methods</h4>We reviewed radiologically resectable PDAC patients who received resection with curative intent at a tertiary hospital in South Korea between January 2012 and August 2019. A total of 202 patients underwent curative resection for resectable PDAC: 167 underwent surgical resection first during this period, and 35 received neoadjuvant chemotherapy/chemoradiation therapy followed by surgery. Resectable PDAC patients were subdivided, and 1:3 propensity score matching (PSM) was performed to reduce selection bias.<h4>Results</h4>Compared with the group that received surgery first, the group that received neoadjuvant treatment followed by surgery had significantly smaller tumors (22.0 mm vs 27.0 mm, p=0.004), a smaller proportion of patients with postoperative pathologic T stage (p=0.026), a smaller proportion of patients with lymphovascular invasion (20.0% vs 40.7%, p=0.022), and a larger proportion of patients with negative resection margins (74.3% vs 51.5%, p=0.049). After PSM, the group that received neoadjuvant therapy had a significantly longer progression-free survival than those in the group that underwent surgery first (29.6 months vs 15.1 months, p=0.002). Overall survival was not significantly different between the two groups after PSM analysis.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We observed significantly better surgical outcomes and progression-free survival with the addition of neoadjuvant therapy to the management of resectable PDAC. However, despite PSM, there was still selection bias due to the use of different regimens between the groups receiving surgery first and neoadjuvant therapy. Large homogeneous samples are needed in the future prospective studies.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers. Curative-intended resection and adjuvant chemotherapy represents the current standard of care. Despite substantial improvements in surgical treatment and intensified adjuvant treatment with more powerful regimens over the last years even clearly resectable pancreatic cancer still has an unfavorable prognosis with a high risk of relapse. Neoadjuvant or perioperative multimodal therapies have substantially improved the outcome of other resectable gastrointestinal (GI) cancers such as esophagus and gastric cancer. It is reasonable to assume that efficient chemotherapy and or radiochemotherapy may have a similar impact on the outcome of resectable PDAC. This review is focused on neoadjuvant and perioperative treatment of resectable PDAC (no borderline resectable or locally advanced PDAC), summarizes the pros and cons for neoadjuvant treatment in the context of the current literature, and also provides an overview over the landscape of ongoing clinical trials in this up-and-coming field of PDAC therapy.
Project description:Pancreatic cancer is the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Surgical resection with negative margins still constitutes the cornerstone of potentially curative therapy, but is possible only in 15-20% of patients at the time of initial diagnosis. Accumulating evidence suggests that the neoadjuvant approach may improve R0 resection rate in localized resectable and borderline resectable diseases, and potentially downstage locally advanced disease to achieve surgical resection, though the impact on survival is to be determined. Despite advancements in the last decade in developing effective combinational chemo-radio therapeutic options, preoperative treatment strategies, and better peri-operative care, pancreatic cancer continues to carry a dismal prognosis in the majority. Prodigious efforts are currently being made in optimizing the neoadjuvant therapy with a better toxicity profile, developing novel agents, imaging techniques, and identification of biomarkers for the disease. Advancement in our understanding of the tumor microenvironment and molecular pathology is urgently needed to facilitate the development of novel targeted and immunotherapies for this setting. In this review, we detail the current literature on contemporary management of resectable, borderline resectable and locally advanced pancreatic cancer with a focus on future directions in the field.
Project description:The use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy or radiation for borderline resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma (BL-PDAC) is increasing. However, the impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy on the outcome of BL-PDAC remains to be elucidated. We performed a retrospective analysis of 93 consecutive patients who were diagnosed with BL-PDAC and primarily followed at Johns Hopkins Hospital between February 2007 and December 2012. Among 93 patients, 62% received upfront neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation, whereas 20% received neoadjuvant chemoradiation alone and 15% neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone. Resectability following all neoadjuvant therapy was 44%. Patients who underwent resection with a curative intent had a median overall survival (mOS) of 25.8 months, whereas those who did not undergo surgery had a mOS of 11.9 months. However, resectability and overall survival were not significantly different between the three types of neoadjuvant therapy. Nevertheless, 22% (95% CI, 0.13-0.36) of the 58 patients who received upfront chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation remained alive for a minimum of 48 months compared to none of the 19 patients who received upfront chemoradiation. Among patients who underwent curative surgical resection, 32% (95% CI, 0.19-0.55) of those who received upfront chemotherapy remained disease free at least 48 months following surgical resection, whereas none of the eight patients who received upfront chemoradiation remained disease free beyond 24 months following surgical resection. Neoadjuvant therapy with upfront chemotherapy may result in long-term survival in a subpopulation of patients with BL-PDAC.
Project description:Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, being responsible for 6% of all cancer-related deaths. Surgical resection offers the only chance of cure, but only 15 to 20 percent of cases are potentially resectable at presentation. In recent years, increasing evidences support the use of neoadjuvant strategies in pancreatic cancer in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer as well as in patients with borderline resectable or locally advanced PDAC in order to allow early treatment of micrometastatic disease, tumour regression, and reduced risk of peritoneal tumour implantation during surgery. Furthermore, neoadjuvant treatment allows evaluation of tumour response and increases patient's compliance. However, most evidences in this setting come from retrospective analysis or small case series and in many studies chemotherapy or chemoradiation therapies used were suboptimal. Currently, prospective randomized trials using the most active chemotherapy regimens available are trying to define the real benefit of neoadjuvant strategies compared to conventional adjuvant strategies. In this review, the authors examined available data on neoadjuvant treatment in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer as well as in patients with borderline resectable or locally advanced PDAC and the future directions in this peculiar setting.
Project description:Approximately 20% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients have (borderline) resectable pancreatic cancer [(B)RPC] at diagnosis. Upfront resection with adjuvant chemotherapy has long been the standard of care for these patients. However, although surgical quality has improved, still about 50% of patients never receive adjuvant treatment. Therefore, recent developments have focused on a neoadjuvant approach. Directly comparing results from neoadjuvant and adjuvant regimens is challenging due to differences in patient populations that influence outcomes. Neoadjuvant trials include all patients who have (B)RPC on imaging, while adjuvant-only trials include patients who underwent a complete resection and recovered to a good performance status without any evidence of residual disease. Guidelines recommend neoadjuvant treatment for BRPC patients mainly to improve negative resection margin (R0) rates. For resectable PDAC, upfront resection is still considered the standard of care. However, theoretical advantages of neoadjuvant treatment, including the increased R0 resection rate, early delivery of systemic therapy to all patients, directly addressing occult metastatic disease, and improved patient selection for resection, may also apply to these patients. A systematic review by intention-to-treat showed a superior median overall survival (OS) for any neoadjuvant approach (19 months) compared to upfront surgery (15 months) in (B)RPC patients. A neoadjuvant approach was recently supported by three randomized controlled trials (RCTs). For resectable PDAC, neoadjuvant treatment was superior in a Japanese RCT of neoadjuvant gemcitabine with S-1 vs. upfront surgery, with adjuvant S-1 in both arms (median OS: 37 vs. 27 months, p = 0.015). A Korean trial of neoadjuvant gemcitabine-based chemoradiotherapy vs. upfront resection in BRPC patients was terminated early due to superiority of the neoadjuvant group (median OS: 21 vs. 12 months, p = 0.028; R0 resection: 52 vs. 26%, p = 0.004). The PREOPANC-1 trial for (B)RPC patients also showed favorable outcome for neoadjuvant gemcitabine-based chemoradiotherapy vs. upfront surgery (median OS: 17 vs. 14 months, p = 0.07; R0 resection: 63 vs. 31%, p < 0.001). FOLFIRINOX is likely a better neoadjuvant regimen, because of superiority compared to gemcitabine in both the metastatic and adjuvant setting. Currently, five RCTs evaluating neoadjuvant modified or fulldose FOLFIRINOX are accruing patients.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is currently ranked fourth place of cancer related mortality. Only a minority of 10-20% of patients with PDAC have a primarily resectable disease, while 50-60% of the patients are diagnosed with irresectable disease. A certain group of patients is defined as "borderline resectable", which is mainly relied to contact of the tumor to major abdominal vessels. For preoperative evaluation of resectability CT and MRI is commonly used. Although CT-scanning, which is the standard preoperative imaging modality, has striking limitations concerning evaluation of lymph node status as well as vessel involvement and approximately 20% of the patients are staged incorrectly. A central part of modern therapy of locally advanced or not primarily resectable PDAC is neoadjuvant therapy. Especially neoadjuvant chemotherapy according to the FOLFIRINOX protocol resulted in high resection rates of initially not resectable patients. Furthermore, treatment with FOLFIRINOX was shown to be an independent predictor of improved prognosis and resection after neoadjuvant treatment with FOLFIRINOX was associated with improved survival. Neoadjuvant treatment was able to increases the rates of R0 resection, which depicts an independent prognostic factor and FOLFIRINOX outmatched other treatment regimes (e.g., gemcitabine-based radio-chemotherapy) concerning achievement of a R0 resection. While most evidence of neoadjuvant treatment of PDAC is conferred by retrospective analysis, there is growing data from randomized controlled trials, confirming the beneficial effects of neoadjuvant therapy on the prognosis of PDAC. Thus, patients with borderline resectable and locally advanced PDAC should be evaluated for neoadjuvant treatment. If there is no progression of the disease during neoadjuvant treatment exploration with the goal of R0 resection should be performed. If possible, patients should be included in well-designed randomized controlled trials at specialized pancreatic centers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Several new treatment options have become available for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but the support for their use for resectable, borderline resectable and locally advanced PDAC is unclear. METHODS:A survey was distributed to the members of the European-African Hepato-Pancreato Biliary Association (E-AHPBA) and the pancreas group of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) regarding 1) definitions of local resectability, 2) indications for neoadjuvant therapy and 3) case-vignettes regarding the resectability and treatment of PDAC. RESULTS:In total, 114 participants from 37 countries were registered. About 35% of respondents, each, were of the opinion that borderline resectability is defined by any venous tumor contact and venous involvement < 180° or > 180°, respectively. The majority (75.4%) of participants believed that borderline resectable PDAC has a high risk for R1 resection and that neoadjuvant therapy might increase the R0-resection rate (79.8%) and improve oncological patient selection (84.2%). Chemotherapy was regarded useful to convert locally advanced to resectable PDAC by 55.7% of respondents. In the cases with resectable, borderline resectable, and locally advanced PDAC, 10 (8.8%), 78 (68.4%), 55 (48.2%) of participants would start with chemotherapy, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Although definitions for borderline resectability differ among European surgeons, there seems to be a rather strong support for preoperative chemotherapy in PDAC aiming at minimizing R1 resections while increasing resection rates.
Project description:In the last two decades, pancreatic cancer has been undergoing important changes in its perioperative management due to the great interest in multidisciplinary management and preoperative multimodal therapy, which in numerous studies have shown promising clinical results. Although the standard of treatment for resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) today is surgery followed by adjuvant therapy, as it is a biologically aggressive disease, even with complete resection, it has high rates of local and distant relapse. Several retrospective and prospective phase I/II studies have opened the window for neoadjuvant therapy with chemotherapy (CT), chemoradiotherapy (CRT), or both, as an alternative treatment for resectable pancreatic cancer, with promising results. Neoadjuvant therapy could has some advantages, including early administration of systemic treatment, in vivo assessment of response to treatment, increase resectability rate in borderline patients, increase resection rate with negative margin and survival benefit. While it seems clear that even potentially resectable disease would benefit from preoperative multimodal therapy, the optimal neoadjuvant therapeutic strategy is still controversial and currently there are only recommendations for neoadjuvant treatment, in clinical guidelines such as the NCCN and ESMO, for borderline and/or locally advanced PDAC. This review provides an overview of recent studies available and how they relate to systemic treatment of resectable PDAC in the neoadjuvant setting.