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Stem Cells Int. 2015;2015:868475. doi: 10.1155/2015/868475. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

Combined effects of pericytes in the tumor microenvironment.

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Centro de Pesquisa sobre o Genoma Humano e Células-Tronco, Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão 277, Cidade Universitária, 05508-090 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Pericytes are multipotent perivascular cells whose involvement in vasculature development is well established. Evidences in the literature also suggest that pericytes display immune properties and that these cells may serve as an in vivo reservoir of stem cells, contributing to the regeneration of diverse tissues. Pericytes are also capable of tumor homing and are important cellular components of the tumor microenvironment (TME). In this review, we highlight the contribution of pericytes to some classical hallmarks of cancer, namely, tumor angiogenesis, growth, metastasis, and evasion of immune destruction, and discuss how collectively these hallmarks could be tackled by therapies targeting pericytes, providing a rationale for cancer drugs aiming at the TME.

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