Changes in the immune cell population and cell proliferation in peripheral blood after gemcitabine-based chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer
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Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a role in the immunosuppressive state in pancreatic cancer patients. We aimed to evaluate the changes of immune cells population including Tregs caused by gemcitabine (GEM)-based chemotherapy.
Fifty-three patients with pancreatic cancer were enrolled in this study, of which 32 received GEM- based chemotherapy. Blood samples were collected before and at least 2 weeks after the last dose of chemotherapy. The peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were subjected to flow cytometry analysis after labeling with anti-CD4, anti-CD25, and anti-Foxp3 antibodies. Other lymphocytes and NK cell markers were also measured. The proliferative capacity of PBMCs stimulated with anti-CD3 was analyzed using H3 thymidine.
The percentage and number of Tregs were significantly decreased after chemotherapy (p = 0.032, p = 0.003, respectively). The other immune cells and the proliferative capacity did not change.
This study showed that GEM-based chemotherapy produced an immunomodulatory effect via the depletion of Tregs.
KeywordsPancreatic cancer Lymphocytes Regulatory T cell Gemcitabine
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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