Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Pancreatic Cancer Desmoplastic Reaction and Metastasis

  • Rohini Gomathinayagam
  • Danny N. Dhanasekaran
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7096-1


Desmoplastic reaction in pancreatic cancers is characterized by a marked increase in proliferation of stromal cells, accompanied by a synthesis and deposition of tumor-promoting extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagen, laminin, fibronectin, and vitronectin. Distinct cell types including endothelial cells, immune cells, fibroblasts, endocrine cells and, in particular, pancreatic cancer stellate cells (PSCs) that are embedded in the extracellular matrix constitute the desmoplasia – fibrotic sarcoma – of the pancreatic cancer. In pancreatic cancer, desmoplastic stroma can contribute to 90 % of the tumor volume. Recent studies have shown that the desmoplastic reaction plays a greater role in metastatic tumor progression and drug resistance observed in pancreatic cancer.


Histopathological studies have defined that the desmoplastic reaction is mediated by the copious secretion of different ECM proteins by both the stromal and cancer cells. These ECM...


Pancreatic Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Cell Pancreatic Cancer Patient Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Fibroblast Activation Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Apte MV, Park S, Phillips PA, Santucci N, Goldstein D, Kumar RK, Ramm GA, Buchler M, Friess H, McCarroll JA, Keogh G, Merrett N, Pirola R, Wilson JS (2004) Desmoplastic reaction in pancreatic cancer: role of pancreatic cancer cells. Pancreas 29:179–187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Erkan M, Hausmann S, Michalski CW, Fingerle AA, Dobritz M, Kleeff J, Friess H (2012) The role of stroma in pancreatic cancer: diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 9:454–467CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Grzesiak J, Ho JC, Moosa AR, Bouvet M (2007) The integrin–extracellular matrix axis in pancreatic cancer. Pancreas 35:293–301CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Lunardi S, Muschel RJ, Brunner TB (2014) The stromal compartments in pancreatic cancer: are there any therapeutic agents? Cancer Lett 28:147–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Schober M, Jesenofsky R, Faissner R, Weidenauer C, Hagmann W, Michl P, Heuchel RL, Haas SL, Löhr JM (2014) Desmoplasia and chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer. Cancers (Basel) 21:2137–2154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stephenson Cancer CenterUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA