Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Adenosine and Tumor Microenvironment

  • Jonathan Blay
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_89-2



Adenosine is a small molecule that is released into the tissue at high concentrations in response to a deficiency of oxygen, which occurs characteristically in solid tumors. Adenosine has multiple effects within the tumor, including controlling cancer cell growth, locally inhibiting the immune system, and increasing blood vessel formation.


Adenosine (adenine-9-β- d-ribofuranoside, Fig. 1) is a small organic molecule that plays an important part in general cellular biochemistry. Chemically, it is a purine nucleoside. Adenosine is abundant within all cells, predominantly in the form of adenine nucleotides (AMP, ADP, and ATP) which participate widely in cellular energy metabolism and act as precursor molecules in many processes. However, adenosine itself can exist in a free form both inside and outside of cells, and extracellular adenosine is responsible for the regulation of...


Adenosine Receptor Adenine Nucleotide Purine Nucleoside Extracellular Adenosine Adenosine Kinase 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada