Dendritic Cell Paucity Leads to Dysfunctional Immune Surveillance in Pancreatic Cancer

Samarth Hegde, Varintra E. Krisnawan, Brett H. Herzog, Chong Zuo, Marcus A. Breden, Brett L. Knolhoff, Graham D. Hogg, Jack P. Tang, John M. Baer, Cedric Mpoy, Kyung Bae Lee, Katherine A. Alexander, Buck E. Rogers, Kenneth M. Murphy, William G. Hawkins, Ryan C. Fields, Carl J. DeSelm, Julie K. Schwarz, David G. DeNardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Here, we utilized spontaneous models of pancreatic and lung cancer to examine how neoantigenicity shapes tumor immunity and progression. As expected, neoantigen expression during lung adenocarcinoma development leads to T cell-mediated immunity and disease restraint. By contrast, neoantigen expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) results in exacerbation of a fibro-inflammatory microenvironment that drives disease progression and metastasis. Pathogenic TH17 responses are responsible for this neoantigen-induced tumor progression in PDAC. Underlying these divergent T cell responses in pancreas and lung cancer are differences in infiltrating conventional dendritic cells (cDCs). Overcoming cDC deficiency in early-stage PDAC leads to disease restraint, while restoration of cDC function in advanced PDAC restores tumor-restraining immunity and enhances responsiveness to radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-307.e9
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2020


  • CD40
  • Flt3L
  • dendritic cell
  • immune surveillance
  • immunotherapy
  • neoantigen
  • pancreatic cancer
  • radiation therapy
  • vaccination

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