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Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Jul;13(7):511-8. doi: 10.1038/nrc3536. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

The evolution of the cancer niche during multistage carcinogenesis.

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The Department of Radiation Oncology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.


The concept of the tumour microenvironment recognizes that the interplay between cancer cells and stromal cells is a crucial determinant of cancer growth. In this Perspectives article, we propose the novel concept that the tumour microenvironment is built through rate-limiting steps during multistage carcinogenesis. Construction of a 'precancer niche' is a necessary and early step that is required for initiated cells to survive and evolve; subsequent niche expansion and maturation accompany tumour promotion and progression, respectively. As such, cancer niches represent an emergent property of a tumour that could be a robust target for cancer prevention and therapy.

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