Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Nov;1834(11):2233-41. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2013.03.014. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

The secretome in cancer progression.

Author information

Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, Frome Road, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia; School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.


The secretome is the collection of all macromolecules secreted by a cell, and is a vital aspect of cell-cell communication in eukaryotes. In cancer, tumour cells often display secretomes with altered composition compared to the normal tissue from which they are derived. These changes can contribute to the acquisition and maintenance of the recognised hallmarks of cancer. In addition, evidence is emerging for a more sophisticated role for the tumour secretome in cancer, with significant implications for malignant disease progression. In this review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of factors contributing to secretome alterations in cancer, including genetic mutations, microRNA-based regulation and the influence of the tumour microenvironment. The contribution of secreted factors in maintenance and function of cancer stem cells, and of tumour-derived factors in specification of a pre-metastatic niche are also discussed. Collectively, evidence from the current literature suggests that the tumour secretome, consisting of factors derived from cancer stem cells, non-stem cells and the surrounding stroma, plays a deterministic role in cancer progression, and may constitute a key therapeutic target in many cancers. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: An Updated Secretome.


Cancer; Cancer associated fibroblast; Cancer stem cell; Metastatic niche; Microenvironment; Secretome

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center