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Pol J Vet Sci. 2011;14(1):3-10.

Density of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and expression of their growth factor receptor MCSF-R and CD14 in canine mammary adenocarcinomas of various grade of malignancy and metastasis.

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  • 1Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - WULS, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland.


Several years ago, the presence of macrophages in the tumor microenvironment was thought to be an inflammatory response to kill the cancer cells. Now, this is clear that the inflammatory cells that exit blood vessels and migrate to the tumor tissue play an important role in cancer progression. Various cells present in the tumor microenvironment enhance cancer growth and invasiveness by secretion of tumor-enhancing products. That is why tumors should not be treated as only aggregates of cancer cells but as separate structures. Macrophages form a major component of the inflammatory infiltration in tumors, where they are termed tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). To the best of our knowledge, up-to-date there were no studies on tumor associated macrophages and the role of the tumor microenvironment in tumor invasion/metastasis in dogs. This is the first study performed to asses if the number of TAMs and expression of MCSF-R (macrophages colony stimulating factor receptor) and CD14 (LPS co-receptor) are associated with the grade of tumor malignancy and its ability to metastasize. We have performed immunohistochemical analysis of 50 canine mammary adenocarcinomas of various grade of malignancy (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and tumors that gave local or distant metastases. The results indicate that in dogs, similarly to humans and mice, the number of tumor associated macrophages is related to the cancer ability to metastasize. Our results also indicate that the expression of MCSF-R and, what is particularly new finding, CD14 is associated with tumor malignancy and its ability to metastasize. Hence, these molecules play a role in tumor progression, metastasis and microenvironment interactions. These results show that in dogs we should treat the tumor as a whole organ rather than just try to eliminate the cancer cells.

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