Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment in Neuroblastoma: Recent Advances and Future Directions

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Jul 25;12(8):2057. doi: 10.3390/cancers12082057.


Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common pediatric tumor malignancy that originates from the neural crest and accounts for more than 15% of all the childhood deaths from cancer. The neuroblastoma cancer research has long been focused on the role of MYCN oncogene amplification and the contribution of other genetic alterations in the progression of this malignancy. However, it is now widely accepted that, not only tumor cells, but the components of tumor microenvironment (TME), including extracellular matrix, stromal cells and immune cells, also contribute to tumor progression in neuroblastoma. The complexity of different components of tumor stroma and their resemblance with surrounding normal tissues pose huge challenges for therapies targeting tumor microenvironment in NB. Hence, the detailed understanding of the composition of the TME of NB is crucial to improve existing and future potential immunotherapeutic approaches against this childhood cancer. In this review article, I will discuss different components of the TME of NB and the recent advances in the strategies, which are used to target the tumor microenvironment in neuroblastoma.

Keywords: extracellular matrix; hypoxia; immunosuppression; metastasis; neuroblastoma; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review