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Cancer Biol Ther. 2011 Jan 15;11(2):150-6. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Cancer-stromal interactions: role in cell survival, metabolism and drug sensitivity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


It has been known for a long time that the interaction between cancer cells and tissue microenvironment plays a major role in cancer development, progression and metastasis. The biochemical aspect of cancer-stromal interactions, however, is less appreciated. This short review article first provides a brief summary of the communications between cancer cells and the tissue microenvironment by direct cell-cell interactions and by soluble factors, and then describes several biochemical pathways that are important for the interaction between stromal and cancer cells with respect to energy metabolism, redox balance, cell survival and drug resistance. The potential therapeutic implications of abolishing stromal protective mechanisms to overcome drug resistance are also discussed.

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