Structure and function of the solid tumor niche

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4(1):1-15. doi: 10.2741/s247.


Although the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche has been an active area of study, the concept of the bone marrow microenvironment (BMM) harboring a niche for solid metastatic tumor cells has only recently been considered. The HSC niche and microenvironment that is thought to constitute the solid tumor niche share many of the same structural and functional components, suggesting the possibility that the HSC and tumor niche are one in the same. The osteoblast is a critical component for each of these niches, and is important for regulating cellular processes such homing and migration, growth and survival, and quiescence and dormancy. Current understanding of the HSC niche may provide more insight to better defining the solid tumor niche. As role of the niche in regulating these processes is better understood, new insights to the role of the BMM in metastatic disease may be gained, and provide more potential targets for therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Stem Cell Niche*
  • Tumor Microenvironment