Tumor microenvironment: Sanctuary of the devil

Cancer Lett. 2015 Nov 1;368(1):7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2015.07.039. Epub 2015 Aug 11.


Tumor cells constantly interact with the surrounding microenvironment. Increasing evidence indicates that targeting the tumor microenvironment could complement traditional treatment and improve therapeutic outcomes for these malignancies. In this paper, we review new insights into the tumor microenvironment, and summarize selected examples of the cross-talk between tumor cells and their microenvironment, which have enhanced our understanding of pathophysiology of the microenvironment. We believe that this rapidly moving field promises many more to come, and they will guide the rational design of combinational therapies for success in cancer eradication.

Keywords: Combination therapy; Drug resistance; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cell Communication
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment* / drug effects