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Bull Cancer. 1991;78(10):869-900.

[Cancer stroma].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Laboratoire d'oncologie mol├ęculaire, centre Henri-Becquerel, Rouen, France.


The cancer stroma is made of cellular and non cellular formations which grow along with cancer cells to build up a tumor. It comes from inflammatory cells and mesenchymal tissue which are mobilized and modified by factors released by cancer cells which bring about inflammatory cell accumulation, angiogenesis, fibroblast mitosis and extracellular matrix production. The extracellular matrix is altogether a barrier against and supporting to cancer cells. The extracellular matrix is also involved in the storage of growth factors which are bound to glycosaminoglycans. Although they are antinomic in vitro, peptidic factors released by tumor cells seem to have an enhancing effect on tumor growth in vivo. The cancer invasion is mediated through diverse enzyme activities, particularly proteases, which degrade the matrix whose degradation products can facilitate the tumor progression. The anti-cancer activity which is exhibited in vitro by macrophages and lymphocytes is expressed at a low level by tumor-macrophages and lymphocytes in vivo. The cancer associated inflammation has no particular feature which could help to screening or to follow up patients. Several elements of the cancer stroma could be selected as targets for investigative cancer therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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