Tumor-Microenvironment Interactions

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Interactions of cancer cells with components of their microenvironment are crucial determinants in the decision making process which determines whether the cancer cells will progress towards a highly malignant phenotype or whether they will stay dormant or disappear altogether. The tumor microenvironment is composed of a plethora of soluble and cellular components. Many of these components deliver signals to tumor cells and thus modulate their phenotype thereby driving tumor progression. This chapter focuses on the interaction of tumor cells with endothelial cells through endothelial selectins and their fucosylated ligands expressed by the tumor cells. Comparisons are drawn between the utilization of this interaction axis by inflammatory leukocytes and by tumor cells.