Cancer microenvironment

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 |

    Using a rapid mass-spectrometry based approach to analyse aerosol released during surgical cauterization of tumour tissue, Koundouros et al. derived metabolic signatures associated with the tumour genotype. Based on these signatures, they identified a new mechanism by which oncogenic PI3K signalling promotes tumour growth.

    • Ulrike Harjes
  • News and Views |

    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is often characterized by substantial amounts of fibrosis, and how these stromal components affect metabolite availability is not fully understood. Zhu et al. now show that cancer-associated fibroblasts consume branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) at high levels but release corresponding branched-chain α-ketoacids that support PDAC cell growth.

    • Russell E. Ericksen
    •  & Weiping Han
  • Research Highlights |

    Allen, Hiam et al. have used mass cytometry to characterize the immune landscape over time in response to tumour development, demonstrating that tumour growth dynamically alters the systemic immune landscape and that this can be reverted by tumour removal.

    • Linda Gummlich
  • News and Views |

    Reprogramming normal cells into tumour precursors involves complex reconditioning of the tissue microenvironment. Cumulative integration of genetic drivers with extrinsic mechanical inputs is now shown to engage YAP/TAZ to rewire cell mechanics and initiate tumorigenic reprogramming.

    • Sayan Chakraborty
    •  & Wanjin Hong
    Nature Materials 19, 707-709
  • Research Highlights |

    Nejman et al. have comprehensively characterized the bacteria present in 1,526 human tumours and their adjacent normal tissues encompassing seven different solid tumour types. Their initial findings suggest that much like the gut microbiome, the tumour microbiome may impact many aspects of tumour biology.

    • Anna Dart