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217 (13pp.)




A Pancreatic cancer is a notorious malignant neoplasm with an extremely poor prognosis. Current standard of care is rarely effective against late-stage pancreatic cancer. In this study, we assessed nanopulse stimulation (NPS) as a local treatment for pancreatic cancer in a syngeneic mouse Pan02 pancreatic cancer model and characterized corresponding changes in the immune profile. A single NPS treatment either achieved complete tumor regression or prolonged overall survival in animals with partial tumor regression. While this is very encouraging, we also explored if this local ablation effect could also result in immune stimulation, as was observed when NPS led to the induction of immune-mediated protection from a second tumor challenge in orthotopic mouse breast and rat liver cancer models. In the Pan02 model, there were insufficient abscopal effects (1/10) and vaccine-like protective effects (1/15) suggesting that NPS-induced immune mechanisms in this model were limited. To evaluate this further, the immune landscape was analyzed. The numbers of both T regulatory cells (Tregs) and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in blood were significantly reduced, but memory (CD44+) T-cells were absent. Furthermore, the numbers of Tregs and MDSCs did not reduce in spleens compared to tumor-bearing mice. Very few T-cells, but large numbers of MDSCs were present in the NPS treated tumor microenvironment (TME). The number of dendritic cells in the TME was increased and multiple activation markers were upregulated following NPS treatment. Overall, NPS treatments used here are effective for pancreatic tumor ablation, but require further optimization for induction of immunity or the need to include effective combinational NPS therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer.


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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Original Publication Citation

Guo, S., Burcus, N. I., Hornef, J., Jing, Y., Jiang, C., Heller, R., & Beebe, S. J. (2018). Nano-pulse stimulation for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and the changes in immune profile. Cancers, 10(7), 217. doi:10.3390/cancers10070217


0000-0002-7280-7888 (Guo), 0000-0002-6075-9452 (Beebe)