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Chemopreventive agents targeting tumor microenvironment

Sharma, Sharada H., Thulasingam, Senthilkumar, Nagarajan, Sangeetha
Life sciences 2016 v.145 pp. 74-84
autocrine signaling, cell proliferation, chemoprevention, cytotoxicity, drug therapy, endothelial cells, genes, immune response, immunosuppression, mast cells, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, stromal cells
Recent studies have shown that tumor development and progression depend not only on the perturbed genes that govern cell proliferation, but is also highly determined by the non-tumor cells of the stromal compartment surrounding the tumor called tumor microenvironment (TME). These findings highlight the importance of targeting the microenvironment in combination with therapies aimed at tumor cells as a valuable approach. The innate and adaptive immune cells in the TME interact among themselves and also with the endothelial cells, pericytes and mast cells of the stromal compartment through various autocrine and paracrine manner to regulate abnormal cell proliferation. Direct cytotoxic killing of cancer cells and/or reversion of the immunosuppressive TME are to be considered as better strategies for chemoprevention and chemotherapy. With a growing emphasis on a “hallmark targeting” strategy for cancer therapy, the TME now appears as a promising target for cancer prevention using natural products. Clarification on the nontumor stromal cells, the mediators involved, interactions with immune response cells, and immune-evasive mechanisms are needed in order to manipulate the characteristics of the TME by natural pharmacological agents to design effective therapies. This review will provide a glimpse on the roles played by various non-tumor cells in tumor progression and their intervention by pharmacological agents.