More than structural cells, fibroblasts create and orchestrate the tumor microenvironment

Immunol Invest. 2006;35(3-4):297-325. doi: 10.1080/08820130600754960.


The tumor microenvironment comprises many cell types including infiltrating immune cells such as lymphocytes, endothelial cells and a complex stroma consisting mainly of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are heterogeneous and consist of Thy-1+ and Thy-1- subsets that define different biosynthetic and differentiation potential. They produce mediators linked to carcinogenesis and metastasis, including Cox-2 and PGE2, both of which are also increased in most cancers. This review will highlight the emerging role of the complex fibroblastic stroma in establishing a microenvironment supporting malignant transformation, tumor growth and attenuation of host anti-tumor immune responses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / immunology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Thy-1 Antigens / metabolism


  • Thy-1 Antigens