Research ArticleCancer

Suppression of stromal-derived Dickkopf-3 (DKK3) inhibits tumor progression and prolongs survival in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

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Science Translational Medicine  24 Oct 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 464, eaat3487
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat3487

Killing tumors by targeting their neighbors

Pancreatic cancer is infamous for its bad prognosis, as well as for its dense stroma. Most therapies target the tumor cells themselves rather than the stroma, but now, Zhou et al. identified a therapeutic target called DKK3, which is produced by pancreatic stellate cells. The authors showed that this protein was present in most of the human pancreatic tumors in their study sample. They also demonstrated the effectiveness of ablating DKK3, either by genetic means or with a monoclonal antibody. The antibody treatment reduced tumor growth and extended survival in mouse models, especially when combined with an immune checkpoint inhibitor, demonstrating its therapeutic potential.

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