Abstract: Despite its relative low incidence, PDAC is one of the most aggressive and lethal types of cancer, being currently the seventh leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with a 5-year survival rate of 10.8%. Taking into consideration the necessity to improve the prognosis of these patients, this research has been focused on the discovery of new biomarkers. For this purpose, patients with BL and resectable disease were recruited. Serum cytokines and growth factors were monitored at different time points using protein arrays. Immune cell populations were determined by flow cytometry in peripheral blood as well as by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in tumor tissues. Several cytokines were found to be differentially expressed between the study subgroups. In the BL disease setting, two different scores were proven to be independent prognostic factors for progression-free survival (PFS) (based on IL-10, MDC, MIF, and eotaxin-3) and OS (based on eotaxin-3, NT-3, FGF-9, and IP10). In the same context, CA19-9 was found to play a role as independent prognostic factor for OS. Eotaxin-3 and MDC cytokines for PFS, and eotaxin-3, NT-3, and CK?8-1 for OS, were shown to be predictive biomarkers for nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine regimen. Similarly, oncostatin, BDNF, and IP10 cytokines were proven to act as predictive biomarkers regarding PFS, for FOLFIRINOX regimen. In the resectable cohort, RANTES, TIMP-1, FGF-4, and IL-10 individually differentiated patients according to their cancer-associated survival. Regarding immune cell populations, baseline high levels of circulating B lymphocytes were related to a significantly longer OS, while these levels significantly decreased as progression occurred. Similarly, baseline high levels of helper lymphocytes (CD4+), low levels of cytotoxic lymphocytes (CD8+), and a high CD4/CD8 ratio, were related to a significantly longer PFS. Finally, high levels of CD4+ and CD8+ intratumoural infiltration was associated with significantly longer PFS. In conclusion, in this study we were able to identify several prognostic and predictive biomarker candidates in patients diagnosed of resectable or BL PDAC.
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