Review Article

When Neighbors Talk: Colon Cancer Cell Invasion and Tumor Microenvironment Myofibroblasts

Author(s): Jolien Bridelance, Zuzanna Drebert, Olivier De Wever, Marc Bracke and Ilse M. Beck*

Volume 18, Issue 8, 2017

Page: [964 - 982] Pages: 19

DOI: 10.2174/1389450117666161028142351

Price: $65


Historically, the word cancer is derived from the Latin cancer, as the red swollen arteries near a tumor reminded the physician Galenus and his fellow Romans of a red crab. Currently, cancer remains the disease to beat as it remains a leading cause of death worldwide (WHO). Tumors do not simply consist of cancer cells, as they can recruit normal cells, which will form the tumor-associated stroma. These stromal cells together with the extracellular matrix, constitute the tumor microenvironment. Reciprocal communication between tumor-associated stromal cells and cancer cells is important for the induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and invasion. A detailed knowledge of this communication can spark the development of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at tackling yet unaddressed regulators of invasion and thus metastasis. Therefore, this review will focus not only on epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and invasion, but also on communication between tumor cells, in particular colon cancer cells, and their stroma, with a primordial focus on cancer-associated fibroblasts, and lastly this review will discuss how this communication can affect the cancer cell’s ability to invade its surroundings and form metastases.

Keywords: Cancer, myofibroblast, cancer-associated fibroblast, colon cancer, extracellular matrix, intercellular communication, invasion, tumor microenvironment.

Graphical Abstract

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