Author(s): Kharaishvili G, Simkova D, Bouchalova K, Gachechiladze M, Narsia N,
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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.
This article was published in Cancer Cell Int
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis