Published online Apr 15, 2016. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v8.i4.380
Peer-review started: November 30, 2015
First decision: December 28, 2015
Revised: January 5, 2016
Accepted: February 14, 2016
Article in press: February 16, 2016
Published online: April 15, 2016
Core tip: Many advances have been made in preclinical assessment of therapies in pancreatic cancer. Here we review the successes and failures of translation to clinical trial of therapies targeting the pancreatic cancer microenvironment. Using data from preclinical trials we expose opportunities for further clinical trial within pancreatic cancer. We focus on therapies that modulate the immune response to pancreatic cancer, stromally active therapies and therapies targeting inflammatory signal transduction that are key in pancreatic cancer progression. We provide experimental results that have led to clinical trial and those findings that may be exploited in future. We attempt to rationalize the failure of certain therapies to translate to clinical practice and provide a realistic overview of why at present tumor microenvironment targeted therapies are not licensed in pancreatic cancer.