Targeting Stromal-cancer Cell Interactions with siRNAs

  • Seyedhossein Aharinejad
  • Mouldy SioudEmail author
  • Trevor Lucas
  • Dietmar Abraham
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 487)


Tumors are composed of both malignant and normal cells, including fibroblasts, endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and inflammatory immune cells such as macrophages. These various stromal components interact with cancer cells to promote growth and metastasis. For example, macrophages, attracted by colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) produced by tumor cells, in turn produce various growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor, which supports the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with blood vessels leading to enhanced tumor cell spreading. The activation of autocrine and paracrine oncogenic signaling pathways by stroma-derived growth factors and cytokines has been implicated in promoting tumor cell proliferation and metastasis. Furthermore, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) derived from both tumor cells and the stromal compartment are regarded as major players assisting tumor cells during metastasis. Collectively, these recent findings indicate that targeting tumor–stroma interactions is a promising strategy in the search for novel treatment modalities in human cancer. This chapter summarizes our current understanding of the tumor microenvironment and highlights some potential targets for therapeutic intervention with small interfering RNAs.


Stroma matrix metalloproteinases extracellular matrix colony-stimulating factor vascular endothelial growth factor tumor macrophages angiogenesis metastasis RNA interference small interfering RNAs 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyedhossein Aharinejad
    • 1
  • Mouldy Sioud
    • 2
    Email author
  • Trevor Lucas
    • 3
  • Dietmar Abraham
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Center for Anatomy and Cell BiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Immunology, Institute for Cancer ResearchThe Norwegian Radium HospitalUniversity of OsloNorway
  3. 3.Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Center for Anatomy and Cell BiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Center for Anatomy and Cell BiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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