Heterogeneity of cancer-associated fibroblasts: Opportunities for precision medicine

Ryu Kanzaki, Kristian Pietras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite marked development in cancer therapies during recent decades, the prognosis for advanced cancer remains poor. The conventional tumor–cell-centric view of cancer can only explain part of cancer progression, and thus a thorough understanding of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is crucial. Among cells within the TME, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are attracting attention as a target for cancer therapy. However, CAFs present a heterogeneous population of cells and more detailed classification of CAFs and investigation of functions of each subset is needed to develop novel CAF-targeted therapies. In this context, application of newly developed approaches to single-cell analysis has already made an impact on our understanding of the heterogeneity of CAFs. Here, we review the recent literature on CAF heterogeneity and function, and discuss the possibility of novel therapies targeting CAF subsets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2708-2717
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Science
Issue number8
Early online date2020 Jun 23
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology

Free keywords

  • cancer progression
  • cancer-associated fibroblast
  • heterogeneity
  • single-cell RNA-sequencing
  • tumor microenvironment


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity of cancer-associated fibroblasts: Opportunities for precision medicine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this