The role of cancer-associated fibroblasts, solid stress and other microenvironmental factors in tumor progression and therapy resistance

Gvantsa Kharaishvili, Dana Simkova, Katerina Bouchalova, Mariam Gachechiladze, Nato Narsia, Jan Bouchal

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Abstract

Tumors are not merely masses of neoplastic cells but complex tissues composed of cellular and noncellular elements. This review provides recent data on the main components of a dynamic system, such as carcinoma associated fibroblasts that change the extracellular matrix (ECM) topology, induce stemness and promote metastasis-initiating cells. Altered production and characteristics of collagen, hyaluronan and other ECM proteins induce increased matrix stiffness. Stiffness along with tumor growth-induced solid stress and increased interstitial fluid pressure contribute to tumor progression and therapy resistance. Second, the role of immune cells, cytokines and chemokines is outlined. We discuss other noncellular characteristics of the tumor microenvironment such as hypoxia and extracellular pH in relation to neoangiogenesis. Overall, full understanding of the events driving the interactions between tumor cells and their environment is of crucial importance in overcoming treatment resistance and improving patient outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalCancer Cell International
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2014

Keywords

  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Cancer associated fibroblasts
  • Solid stress
  • Interstitial fluid pressure
  • Therapy resistance

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