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Med Res Rev. 2019 Jan;39(1):70-113. doi: 10.1002/med.21511. Epub 2018 May 22.

Metabolism within the tumor microenvironment and its implication on cancer progression: An ongoing therapeutic target.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular y Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, and IBIMA (Biomedical Research Institute of Málaga), Andalucía Tech, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, Spain.
CIBER de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Málaga, Spain.


Since reprogramming energy metabolism is considered a new hallmark of cancer, tumor metabolism is again in the spotlight of cancer research. Many studies have been carried out and many possible therapies have been developed in the last years. However, tumor cells are not alone. A series of extracellular components and stromal cells, such as endothelial cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, tumor-associated macrophages, and tumor-infiltrating T cells, surround tumor cells in the so-called tumor microenvironment (TME). Metabolic features of these cells are being studied in deep in order to find relationships between metabolism within the TME and tumor progression. Moreover, it cannot be forgotten that tumor growth is able to modulate host metabolism and homeostasis, so that TME is not the whole story. Importantly, the metabolic switch in cancer is just a consequence of the flexibility and adaptability of metabolism and should not be surprising. Treatments of cancer patients with combined therapies including antitumor agents with those targeting stromal cell metabolism, antiangiogenic drugs, and/or immunotherapy are being developed as promising therapeutics.


angiogenesis; endothelial cells; immune cells; immunosuppression; metabolism; stromal cells; tumor microenvironment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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