Erik Sahai , 1 , Igor Astsaturov 2 , Edna Cukierman 3 , David G. DeNardo 4 , Mikala Egeblad 5 , Ronald M. Evans 6 , 7 , Douglas Fearon 5 , 8 , Florian R. Greten 9 , 10 , Sunil R. Hingorani 11 , Tony Hunter 12 , Richard O. Hynes 13 , Rakesh K. Jain 14 , Tobias Janowitz 5 , 15 , Claus Jorgensen 16 , Alec C. Kimmelman 17 , Mikhail G. Kolonin 18 , Robert G. Maki 5 , 19 , 32 , R. Scott Powers 20 , Ellen Puré 21 , Daniel C. Ramirez 22 , Ruth Scherz-Shouval 23 , Mara H. Sherman 24 , Sheila Stewart 25 , Thea D. Tlsty 26 , 27 , David A. Tuveson 5 , Fiona M. Watt 28 , Valerie Weaver 29 , Ashani T. Weeraratna 30 , Zena Werb 31
24 January 2020
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a key component of the tumour microenvironment with diverse functions, including matrix deposition and remodelling, extensive reciprocal signalling interactions with cancer cells and crosstalk with infiltrating leukocytes. As such, they are a potential target for optimizing therapeutic strategies against cancer. However, many challenges are present in ongoing attempts to modulate CAFs for therapeutic benefit. These include limitations in our understanding of the origin of CAFs and heterogeneity in CAF function, with it being desirable to retain some antitumorigenic functions. On the basis of a meeting of experts in the field of CAF biology, we summarize in this Consensus Statement our current knowledge and present a framework for advancing our understanding of this critical cell type within the tumour microenvironment.
This Consensus Statement highlights the importance of cancer-associated fibroblasts in cancer biology and progression, and issues a call to action for all cancer researchers to standardize assays and report metadata in studies of cancer-associated fibroblasts to advance our understanding of this important cell type in the tumour microenvironment.