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Annu Rev Pathol. 2006;1:119-50.

Tumor stroma and regulation of cancer development.

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1
Department of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94115, USA. ttlsty@itsa.ucsf.edu

Abstract

In the past 25 years, a majority of cancer studies have focused on examining functional consequences of activating and/or inactivating mutations in critical genes implicated in cell cycle control. These studies have taught us a great deal about the functions of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes and the signaling pathways regulating cell proliferation and/or cell death. However, such studies have largely ignored the fact that cancers are heterogeneous cellular entities whose growth is dependent upon reciprocal interactions between genetically altered "initiated" cells and the dynamic microenvironment in which they live. This review highlights the aspects of cancer development that, like organogenesis during embryonic development and tissue repair in adult mammals, are regulated by interactions between epithelial cells, activated stromal cells, and soluble and insoluble components of the extracellular matrix.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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