Understanding the Metabolic Cross Talk Between Cancer Cells and Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts

  • Anthony Michael Alvarado
  • Levi Kent Arnold
  • Sufi Mary ThomasEmail author


The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a heterogeneous, complex, and dynamic setting in which both invading tumor and local stromal cells reside, coevolve, and form a metabolic symbiosis that dictates downstream steps of cancer development and progression. Besides tumor cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are the predominant cell type found in the majority of solid tumor microenvironment. It is recognized that cancer cells induce a metabolic phenotype in CAFs that is conducive to cancer progression. In addition, CAFs produce nutrients and metabolites, which are utilized by the tumor for energy production, proliferation, invasion, and migration. However, the precise mechanisms whereby CAFs contribute to the process remain uncertain. CAFs are believed to contribute to tumor metabolism through the production of high energy intermediates to fuel glycolytic, oxidative, amino acid, and fatty acid metabolism of cancer cells. This chapter consolidates recent findings regarding the metabolic cross talk occurring between CAFs and cancer cells within the tumor microenvironment.


Cancer-associated fibroblasts Tumor microenvironment Metabolism Metabolites Cancer therapy 



This work was supported by the NIH grant CA227838 to S.M.T. and The National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant to the University of Kansas Cancer Center, P30CA168524.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Michael Alvarado
    • 1
  • Levi Kent Arnold
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sufi Mary Thomas
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cancer BiologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy and Cellular BiologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA

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