Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Currently, conventional chemotherapies have showed only limited benefits for PC patients. Main factors affecting PC treatment failures are due to late detection, lack of early symptoms and biomarkers, and the development of desmoplasia and chemoresistance. Various mechanisms have been implicated in PC chemoresistance that includes stem cells, epigenetic changes, and alteration of signaling pathways, among others. Obesity is a modifiable factor for PC risk, which is characterized by high levels of the adipokine leptin that is a proinflammatory, proangiogenic, survival factor that affects chemotherapy effectiveness. Here, we will discuss on the mechanisms of PC chemoresistance and the influence of obesity and leptin signaling. Furthermore, the potential use of nontoxic leptin antagonists as a novel sensitization strategy for PC chemotherapeutics will also be discussed.
Part of the book: Advances in Pancreatic Cancer