Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

The tumor microenvironment controls drug sensitivity

A better understanding of mechanisms involved in regulation of drug sensitivity is crucial for improved cancer treatment. New studies show that cells of the tumor microenvironment modulate the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy and targeted therapies through production of secreted factors (pages 1359–1368).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Tumor microenvironment regulates drug sensitivity.


  1. Flaherty, K.T. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 363, 809–819 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Slamon, D.J. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 344, 783–792 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Maemondo, M. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 362, 2380–2388 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Amado, R.G. et al. J. Clin. Oncol. 26, 1626–1634 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Hanahan, D. & Coussens, L.M. Cancer Cell 21, 309–322 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Pietras, K. & Ostman, A. Exp. Cell Res. 316, 1324–1331 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Sun, Y. et al. Nat. Med. 18, 1359–1368 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Straussman, R. et al. Nature 487, 500–504 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Wilson, T.R. et al. Nature 487, 505–509 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Acharyya, S. et al. Cell 150, 165–178 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Nakasone, E.S. et al. Cancer Cell 21, 488–503 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. McMillin, D.W. et al. Nat. Med. 16, 483–489 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Martinez-Outschoorn, U.E. et al. Cancer Biol. Ther. 12, 924–938 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Pontiggia, O. et al. Breast Cancer Res. Treat. 133, 459–471 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Shekhar, M.P., Santner, S., Carolin, K.A. & Tait, L. Am. J. Pathol. 170, 1546–1560 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Johansson, A.C. et al. Mol. Cancer Res. 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-12-0030 (18 July 2012).

  17. Wang, W. et al. Clin. Cancer Res. 15, 6630–6638 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Lindström, L.S. et al. J. Clin. Oncol. 30, 2601–2608 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Arne Östman.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Östman, A. The tumor microenvironment controls drug sensitivity. Nat Med 18, 1332–1334 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing: Cancer

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: Cancer newsletter — what matters in cancer research, free to your inbox weekly.

Get what matters in cancer research, free to your inbox weekly. Sign up for Nature Briefing: Cancer