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      Tumor microenvironment complexity and therapeutic implications at a glance

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          The dynamic interactions of cancer cells with their microenvironment consisting of stromal cells (cellular part) and extracellular matrix (ECM) components (non-cellular) is essential to stimulate the heterogeneity of cancer cell, clonal evolution and to increase the multidrug resistance ending in cancer cell progression and metastasis. The reciprocal cell-cell/ECM interaction and tumor cell hijacking of non-malignant cells force stromal cells to lose their function and acquire new phenotypes that promote development and invasion of tumor cells. Understanding the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms governing these interactions can be used as a novel strategy to indirectly disrupt cancer cell interplay and contribute to the development of efficient and safe therapeutic strategies to fight cancer. Furthermore, the tumor-derived circulating materials can also be used as cancer diagnostic tools to precisely predict and monitor the outcome of therapy. This review evaluates such potentials in various advanced cancer models, with a focus on 3D systems as well as lab-on-chip devices.

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          Most cited references 227

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          Microenvironmental regulation of tumor progression and metastasis.

          Cancers develop in complex tissue environments, which they depend on for sustained growth, invasion and metastasis. Unlike tumor cells, stromal cell types within the tumor microenvironment (TME) are genetically stable and thus represent an attractive therapeutic target with reduced risk of resistance and tumor recurrence. However, specifically disrupting the pro-tumorigenic TME is a challenging undertaking, as the TME has diverse capacities to induce both beneficial and adverse consequences for tumorigenesis. Furthermore, many studies have shown that the microenvironment is capable of normalizing tumor cells, suggesting that re-education of stromal cells, rather than targeted ablation per se, may be an effective strategy for treating cancer. Here we discuss the paradoxical roles of the TME during specific stages of cancer progression and metastasis, as well as recent therapeutic attempts to re-educate stromal cells within the TME to have anti-tumorigenic effects.
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            Leukocyte complexity predicts breast cancer survival and functionally regulates response to chemotherapy.

            Immune-regulated pathways influence multiple aspects of cancer development. In this article we demonstrate that both macrophage abundance and T-cell abundance in breast cancer represent prognostic indicators for recurrence-free and overall survival. We provide evidence that response to chemotherapy is in part regulated by these leukocytes; cytotoxic therapies induce mammary epithelial cells to produce monocyte/macrophage recruitment factors, including colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) and interleukin-34, which together enhance CSF1 receptor (CSF1R)-dependent macrophage infiltration. Blockade of macrophage recruitment with CSF1R-signaling antagonists, in combination with paclitaxel, improved survival of mammary tumor-bearing mice by slowing primary tumor development and reducing pulmonary metastasis. These improved aspects of mammary carcinogenesis were accompanied by decreased vessel density and appearance of antitumor immune programs fostering tumor suppression in a CD8+ T-cell-dependent manner. These data provide a rationale for targeting macrophage recruitment/response pathways, notably CSF1R, in combination with cytotoxic therapy, and identification of a breast cancer population likely to benefit from this novel therapeutic approach. These findings reveal that response to chemotherapy is in part regulated by the tumor immune microenvironment and that common cytotoxic drugs induce neoplastic cells to produce monocyte/macrophage recruitment factors, which in turn enhance macrophage infiltration into mammary adenocarcinomas. Blockade of pathways mediating macrophage recruitment, in combination with chemotherapy, significantly decreases primary tumor progression, reduces metastasis, and improves survival by CD8+ T-cell-dependent mechanisms, thus indicating that the immune microenvironment of tumors can be reprogrammed to instead foster antitumor immunity and improve response to cytotoxic therapy.
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              Tumour exosome integrins determine organotropic metastasis

              Ever since Stephen Paget’s 1889 hypothesis, metastatic organotropism has remained one of cancer’s greatest mysteries. Here we demonstrate that exosomes from mouse and human lung-, liver- and brain-tropic tumour cells fuse preferentially with resident cells at their predicted destination, namely lung fibroblasts and epithelial cells, liver Kupffer cells and brain endothelial cells. We show that tumour-derived exosomes uptaken by organ-specific cells prepare the pre-metastatic niche. Treatment with exosomes from lung-tropic models redirected the metastasis of bone-tropic tumour cells. Exosome proteomics revealed distinct integrin expression patterns, in which the exosomal integrins α6β4 and α6β1 were associated with lung metastasis, while exosomal integrin αvβ5 was linked to liver metastasis. Targeting the integrins α6β4 and αvβ5 decreased exosome uptake, as well as lung and liver metastasis, respectively. We demonstrate that exosome integrin uptake by resident cells activates Src phosphorylation and pro-inflammatory S100 gene expression. Finally, our clinical data indicate that exosomal integrins could be used to predict organ-specific metastasis.

                Author and article information

                Cell Commun Signal
                Cell Commun. Signal
                Cell Communication and Signaling : CCS
                BioMed Central (London )
                7 April 2020
                7 April 2020
                : 18
                [1 ]GRID grid.412888.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2174 8913, Drug Applied Research Center, , Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, ; Tabriz, Iran
                [2 ]GRID grid.412888.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2174 8913, Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences, , Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, ; Tabriz, Iran
                [3 ]GRID grid.412888.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2174 8913, Stem Cell Research Center, , Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, ; Tabriz, Iran
                [4 ]GRID grid.412888.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2174 8913, Biotechnology Research Center, , Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, ; Tabriz, Iran
                [5 ]GRID grid.412888.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2174 8913, Student Research Committees, , Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, ; Tabriz, Iran
                [6 ]GRID grid.412888.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2174 8913, Department of Neurosciences and Cognitive, , School of Advanced Medical Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, ; Tabriz, Iran
                [7 ]GRID grid.412112.5, ISNI 0000 0001 2012 5829, Nano Drug Delivery Research Center, Health Technology Institute, , Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, ; Kermanshah, Iran
                [8 ]GRID grid.411544.1, ISNI 0000 0001 0196 8249, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics, , University Hospital Tuebingen, ; Tuebingen, Germany
                [9 ]GRID grid.189504.1, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7558, Health Informatics Lab, Metropolitan College, , Boston University, ; Boston, USA
                [10 ]GRID grid.419305.a, ISNI 0000 0001 1943 2944, Dioscuri Center of Chromatin Biology and Epigenomics, , Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, ; Warsaw, Poland
                [11 ]GRID grid.440603.5, ISNI 0000 0001 2301 5211, Faculty of Medicine, , Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, ; 01-938 Warsaw, Poland
                © The Author(s). 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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