Stromagenesis: the changing face of fibroblastic microenvironments during tumor progression

Semin Cancer Biol. 2005 Oct;15(5):329-41. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2005.05.003.


During tumorigenesis, reciprocal changes in stromal fibroblasts and tumor cells induce changes to the neoplastic microenvironmental landscape. In stromagenesis, both the complex network of bi-directional stromal fibroblastic signaling pathways and the stromal extracellular matrix are modified. The presence of a 'primed' stroma during the early, reversible stage of tumorigenesis is optimal for stromal-directed therapeutic intervention. Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems have been developed that mimic the in vivo microenvironment. These systems provide unique experimental tools to identify early alterations in stromagenesis that are supportive of tumor progression with the ultimate goal of blocking neoplastic permissiveness and restoring normal phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism