Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 330–335 | Cite as

Changes in the immune cell population and cell proliferation in peripheral blood after gemcitabine-based chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer

  • Y. Homma
  • K. Taniguchi
  • M. Nakazawa
  • R. Matsuyama
  • R. Mori
  • K. Takeda
  • Y. Ichikawa
  • K. Tanaka
  • I. Endo
Research Article



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.


Pancreatic cancer Lymphocytes Regulatory T cell Gemcitabine 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Homma
    • 1
  • K. Taniguchi
    • 1
  • M. Nakazawa
    • 2
  • R. Matsuyama
    • 1
  • R. Mori
    • 1
  • K. Takeda
    • 1
  • Y. Ichikawa
    • 1
  • K. Tanaka
    • 1
  • I. Endo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterological SurgeryYokohama City University School of MedicineYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Animal ScienceYokohama City University Graduate School of MedicineYokohamaJapan

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