In the field of tumor biology, increasing attention is now focused on the complex interactions between various constituent cell types within the tumor microenvironment as being functionally important for the etiology of the disease. The detailed description of tumor-promoting properties of cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, pericytes, and immune cells, introduces novel potential drug targets for improved cancer treatments, as well as a rationale for exploring the tumor stroma as a previously unchartered source for prognostic or predictive biomarkers. However, recent work highlights the fact that cellular identity is perhaps too broadly defined and that subdivision of each cell type may reveal functionally distinct subsets of cells. Here, we will review our current understanding of the diversity of different subsets of mesenchymal cells, i.e., cancer-associated fibroblasts and pericytes, residing within the tumor parenchyma.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cancer and Oncology