Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) are classically immunologically cold tumors that have failed to demonstrate a significant response to immunotherapeutic strategies. This feature is attributed to both the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) and limited immune cell access due to the surrounding stromal barrier, a histological hallmark of PDACs. In this issue of the JCI, Sharma et al. employ a broad glutamine antagonist, 6-diazo-5-oxo-l-norleucine (DON), to target a metabolic program that underlies both PDAC growth and hyaluronan production. Their findings describe an approach to converting the PDAC TME into a hot TME, thereby empowering immunotherapeutic strategies such as anti-PD1 therapy.
Won Jin Ho, Elizabeth M. Jaffee