Author(s): Meads MB, Hazlehurst LA, Dalton WS, Meads MB, Hazlehurst LA, Dalton WS
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Abstract The bone marrow microenvironment facilitates the survival, differentiation, and proliferation of hematopoietic cells. These cells are supported by fibroblast-like bone marrow stromal cells, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts which secrete soluble factors and extracellular matrix proteins that mediate these functions. This rich environment serves as a safe haven not only for normal and malignant hematopoietic cells, but also for epithelial tumor cells that metastasize to bone, offering protection from chemotherapeutic agents by common mechanisms. Soluble factors produced in the bone marrow, such as stromal cell-derived factor-1 and interleukin-6, mediate homing, survival, and proliferation of tumor cells, and integrin-mediated adhesion sequesters tumor cells to this protective niche. Environment-mediated drug resistance includes a combination of soluble factors and adhesion, and can be subdivided into soluble factor-mediated drug resistance and cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance. Because it is induced immediately by the microenvironment and is independent of epigenetic or genetic changes caused by the selective pressure of drug exposure, environment-mediated drug resistance is a form of de novo drug resistance. In this form of drug resistance, tumor cells are transiently and reversibly protected from apoptosis induced by both chemotherapy and physiologic mediators of cell death. This protection allows tumor cells to survive the insult of chemotherapy, leading to minimal residual disease, and thereby increases the probability for the development of acquired drug resistance.
This article was published in Clin Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion