Complex Interplay Between Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Therapy

Front Med. 2018 Aug;12(4):426-439. doi: 10.1007/s11684-018-0663-7. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Abstract

Tumor microenvironment (TME) is comprised of cellular and non-cellular components that exist within and around the tumor mass. The TME is highly dynamic and its importance in different stages of cancer progression has been well recognized. A growing body of evidence suggests that TME also plays pivotal roles in cancer treatment responses. TME is significantly remodeled upon cancer therapies, and such change either enhances the responses or induces drug resistance. Given the importance of TME in tumor progression and therapy resistance, strategies that remodel TME to improve therapeutic responses are under developing. In this review, we provide an overview of the essential components in TME and the remodeling of TME in response to anti-cancer treatments. We also summarize the strategies that aim to enhance therapeutic efficacy by modulating TME.

Keywords: therapy response; treatment resistance; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Microenvironment* / drug effects
  • Tumor Microenvironment* / physiology

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents