PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tumor stroma is composed of many cellular subtypes, of which the most abundant are fibroblasts, macrophages and endothelial cells. During the process of tissue injury, these three cellular subtypes must coordinate their activity to efficiently contribute to tissue regeneration. In tumor, this mechanism is hijacked by cancer cells, which rewire the interaction of stromal cells to benefit tumor development. The present review aims at summarizing most relevant information concerning both pro-tumorigenic and anti-tumorigenic actions implicating the three stromal cell subtypes as well as their mutual interactions.

RECENT FINDINGS: Although stromal cells are generally regarded as tumor-supportive and at will manipulated by cancer cells, several novel studies point at many defaults in cancer cell-mediated stromal reprograming. Indeed, parts of initial tissue-protective and homeostatic functions of the stromal cells remain in place even after tumor development. Both tumor-supportive and tumor-suppressive functions have been well described for macrophages, whereas similar results are emerging for fibroblasts and endothelial cells.

SUMMARY: Recent success of immunotherapies have finally brought the long awaited proof that stroma is key for efficient tumor targeting. However, a better understanding of paracrine stromal interactions is needed in order to encourage drug development not only aiming at disruption of tumor-supportive communication but also re-enforcing, existing, tumor-suppressive mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, macrophages, microenvironment

ID: 36663128