J Cancer 2017; 8(5):761-773. doi:10.7150/jca.17648


Role of tumor microenvironment in tumorigenesis

Maonan Wang1,2, Jingzhou Zhao2, Lishen Zhang2, Fang Wei2, Yu Lian2, Yingfeng Wu2, Zhaojian Gong2, Shanshan Zhang1, Jianda Zhou3, Ke Cao3, Xiayu Li3, Wei Xiong1,2,3, Guiyuan Li1,2,3, Zhaoyang Zeng1,2,3✉, Can Guo1,2,3 ✉

1. Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis of Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410078, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of Ministry of Education, Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410078, China;
3. Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410013, China.


Tumorigenesis is a complex and dynamic process, consisting of three stages: initiation, progression, and metastasis. Tumors are encircled by extracellular matrix (ECM) and stromal cells, and the physiological state of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is closely connected to every step of tumorigenesis. Evidence suggests that the vital components of the TME are fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, neuroendocrine cells, adipose cells, immune and inflammatory cells, the blood and lymphatic vascular networks, and ECM. This manuscript, based on the current studies of the TME, offers a more comprehensive overview of the primary functions of each component of the TME in cancer initiation, progression, and invasion. The manuscript also includes primary therapeutic targeting markers for each player, which may be helpful in treating tumors.

Keywords: cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), neuroendocrine cells, adipose cells, immune-inflammatory cells, angiogenesis

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How to cite this article:
Wang M, Zhao J, Zhang L, Wei F, Lian Y, Wu Y, Gong Z, Zhang S, Zhou J, Cao K, Li X, Xiong W, Li G, Zeng Z, Guo C. Role of tumor microenvironment in tumorigenesis. J Cancer 2017; 8(5):761-773. doi:10.7150/jca.17648. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p0761.htm