Cancer microenvironment

Definition

The cancer microenvironment, or tumour microenvironment, describes the non-cancerous cells present in the tumour. These include fibroblasts, immune cells and cells that comprise the blood vessels. It also includes the proteins produced by all of the cells present in the tumour that support the growth of the cancer cells.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    Lane et al. have shown that interferon-γ (IFNγ)-mediated activation of the lymphatic vasculature, as a non-haematopoietic component of the tumour stroma, serves to limit local CD8+ T cell accumulation in melanoma in mice as a mechanism of immune suppression.

    • Anna Dart
  • Research Highlights |

    Wang et al. demonstrate that increased flux of calcium derived from osteogenic cells into cancer cells promotes early-stage bone colonization. Calcium signalling in cancer cells can be targeted by arsenic trioxide, thereby reducing bone metastasis progression.

    • Urike Harjes
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Immunotherapy and tumour microenvironment modulation are potential new treatment approaches for metastatic prostate cancer, but patient selection might be key to delivering therapeutic benefit. In the past year, four studies have suggested that DNA mismatch repair alterations and CDK12 aberrations are biomarkers of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

    • Pasquale Rescigno
    •  & Johann S. de Bono
  • Research Highlights |

    Song et al. show that in patients with ovarian cancer, intratumoural T cells and ascites-resident T cells experience endoplasmic reticulum stress triggered by activation of IRE1α–XBP1 signalling, leading to reduced antitumour activity.

    • Ulrike Harjes
    Nature Reviews Cancer 18, 724–725
  • Research Highlights |

    Two studies from Ashani Weeraratna’s group have examined how changes in the skin microenvironment associated with ageing promote melanoma metastasis and modify immune infiltration.

    • Sarah Seton-Rogers