In recent years, an increasingly more in depth understanding of tumor metabolism in tumorigenesis, tumor growth, metastasis, and prognosis has been achieved. The broad heterogeneity in tumor tissue is the critical factor affecting the outcome of tumor treatment. Metabolic heterogeneity is not only found in tumor cells but also in their surrounding immune and stromal cells; for example, many suppressor cells, such as tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and tumor-associated T-lymphocytes. Abnormalities in metabolism often lead to short survival or resistance to antitumor therapy, e.g., chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Using the metabolic characteristics of the tumor microenvironment to identify and treat cancer has become a great research hotspot. This review systematically addresses the impacts of metabolism on tumor cells and effector cells and represents recent research advances of metabolic effects on other cells in the tumor microenvironment. Finally, we introduce some applications of metabolic features in clinical oncology.
Keywords: fatty acid metabolism; glutaminolysis; glycolysis; immunotherapy; metabolism; tumor microenvironment.