Immunotherapy has emerged as a new treatment strategy for cancer. However, its promise in pancreatic cancer has not yet been realized. Understanding the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, and identifying new therapeutic targets to increase tumor-specific immune responses, is necessary in order to improve clinical outcomes. Type I interferons, e.g. IFN-α and –β, are considered as an important bridge between the innate and adaptive immune system. Thereby, type I IFNs induce a broad spectrum of anti-tumor effects, including immunologic, vascular, as well as direct anti-tumor effects. While IFN therapies have been around for a while, new insights into exogenous and endogenous activation of the IFN pathway have resulted in new IFN-related cancer treatment strategies. Here, we focus on the pre-clinical and clinical evidence of novel ways to take advantage of the type I IFN pathway, such as IFN based conjugates and activation of the STING and RIG-I pathways.
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