Tumour-associated macrophages as a prototypic type II polarised phagocyte population: role in tumour progression

Eur J Cancer. 2004 Jul;40(11):1660-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2004.03.016.


Macrophages are versatile, plastic cells which respond to micro-environmental signals with distinct functional programmes. In the tumour microenvironment, tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) polarise towards a type II phenotype, oriented to the promotion of tissue remodelling and repair. As polarised type II macrophages, TAM are a key component of the inflammatory circuits that promote tumour progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Survival
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm