Stromal Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment
Advances in experimental medicine and biology, August 2018
Alice E. Denton, Edward W. Roberts, Douglas T. Fearon, Denton, Alice E., Roberts, Edward W., Fearon, Douglas T.
The tumor microenvironment comprises a mass of heterogeneous cell types, including immune cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts, alongside cancer cells. It is increasingly becoming clear that the development of this support niche is critical to the continued uncontrolled growth of the cancer. The tumor microenvironment contributes to the maintenance of cancer stemness and also directly promotes angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, and chronic inflammation. In this chapter, we describe on the role of fibroblasts, specifically termed cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), in the promotion and maintenance of cancers. CAFs have a multitude of effects on the growth and maintenance of cancer, and here we focus on their roles in modulating immune cells and responses; CAFs both inhibit immune cell access to the tumor microenvironment and inhibit their functions within the tumor. Finally, we describe the potential modulation of CAF function as an adjunct to bolster the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapies.
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