Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 381–395

Tumor microenvironment: a main actor in the metastasis process

Review

Abstract

Over recent decades, various studies have argued that the metastatic tissue microenvironment is fully controlled by the intrinsic properties of the cancer cells (growth, motility and invasion, angiogenesis, extracellular matrix remodeling, immune escape) and additional cells types. Overall, the extrinsic factors and determinants mediate the contribution of the host microenvironment to metastasis formation. The tumor microenvironment carries out these functions by secretion of molecules that can influence and modulate its phenotype, making these complex interactions the basis for support for the progression of a cancer. Here, we undertake a summary of the “state of the art” of the functions and actions of these cells, as the main actors in the promotion of the formation of the microenvironment of the metastatic niche, and the associated network of interactions. The unraveling of the relationships between tumorigenic cells and their microenvironment represents an important issue for the development of new therapeutic agents that can fight both initiation and recurrence of cancer.

Keywords

Tumor microenvironment Immune inflammatory cells Cancer-associated fibroblasts Hierarchic network of communication 

Abbreviations

ECM

Extracellular matrix

CAFs

Cancer-associated fibroblasts

MHC

Major histocompatibility complex

TAMs

Tumor-associated macrophages

MDSCs

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells

TNC

Tenascin C

MCP1

Monocyte chemotactic protein 1

IL

Interleukin

MMP

Matrix metalloproteinase

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

TGF-β

Transforming growth factor-β

HGF

Hepatocyte growth factor

SDF1

Stromal-cell-derived factor 1

TIMP

Tissue inhibitors of MMP

MAP

Mitogen-activated protein

PyMT

Polyoma middle T

EGF

Epidermal growth factor

EGFR

Epidermal growth factor receptor

COX-2

Cyclooxygenase-2

uPA

Urokinase plasminogen activator

CSF-1

Colony stimulating factor 1

LLC

Lewis lung carcinoma

TNF-α

Tumor-necrosis factor-α

TLR

Toll-like receptor

Tregs

Regulatory T cells

PGE2

Prostaglandin E2

SCF

Stem cell factor

iNOS

Nitric oxide synthase

ARG1

Arginase 1

TCR

T-cell receptor

NO

Nitric oxide

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SAA3

Serum amyloid A3

LOX

Lysyl oxidase

FGF2

Fibroblast growth factor-2

G-CSF

Granulocyte colony stimulating factor

M-CSF

Macrophage colony stimulating factor

FBLN5

Fibulin-5

IFN

Interferon

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotecnologie AvanzateCentro di Ingegneria Genetica (CEINGE)NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biotecnologie Mediche“Federico II” University of NaplesNaplesItaly

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