Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a poor clinical outlook. Responses to immune checkpoint blockade are suboptimal and a much more detailed understanding of the tumor immune microenvironment is needed if this situation is to be improved. Here, we characterized tumor-infiltrating T-cell populations in patients with PDAC using cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF) and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq). T cells were the predominant immune cell subset observed within tumors. Over 30% of CD4+ T cells expressed a CCR6+CD161+ Th17 phenotype and 17% displayed an activated regulatory T-cell profile. Large populations of CD8+ tissue-resident memory (TRM) T cells were also present and expressed high levels of PD-1 and TIGIT. A population of putative tumor-reactive CD103+CD39+ T cells was also observed within the CD8+ TIL population. The expression of PD-1 ligands was limited largely to haemopoietic cells whilst TIGIT ligands were expressed widely within the tumor microenvironment. PD-L1 and CD155 were expressed within the T-cell area of ectopic lymphoid structures and colocalized with PD-1+TIGIT+ CD8+ T cells. Combinatorial anti-PD-1 and TIGIT blockade enhanced IFN secretion and proliferation of T cells in the presence of PD-1 and TIGIT ligands. As such, we showed that the PDAC microenvironment is characterized by the presence of substantial populations of TRM cells with an exhausted PD-1+TIGIT+ phenotype where dual checkpoint receptor blockade represents a promising avenue for future immunotherapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Immunol Res

Publication Date