The growth of hematologic malignant cells can be facilitated by other non-tumor cells within the same microenvironment, including stromal, vascular, immune and mesenchymal stem cells. Macrophages are an integral part of the human innate immune system and the tumor microenvironment. Complex interplays between the malignant hematologic cells and the infiltrating macrophages promote the formation of leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma-associated macrophages. These pro-tumorigenic macrophages in turn play an important part in facilitating tumor growth, metastasis and chemotherapeutic resistance. Previous reports have highlighted the association between tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and disease progression in hematologic malignancies. This review summarizes the role of TAMs in different subtypes of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, focusing on new insights and targeted therapies.
Keywords: immunotherapy; leukemia; lymphoma; myeloma; nurse-like cells; tumor-associated macrophage.