Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are the key component of tumor stromal. High heterogeneity of CAFs reflects in their origin, phenotype and function. Biological function which can be suggested by biomarkers of distinct CAF subgroups may be different, even opposite, just like water and fire. Identifying CAF subpopulations expressing different biomarkers and reconciling the relationship of the "water and fire" among distinct CAF subsets may be a breakthrough in tumor therapy. Herein, we briefly summarize the biomarkers commonly used or newly identified for distinct CAFs in terms of their features and potential clinical benefits.
Keywords: Biomarker; Cancer-associated fibroblasts; Heterogeneity.