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Front Oncol. 2018 Sep 25;8:390. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00390. eCollection 2018.

Quantitative Analyses of the Tumor Microenvironment Composition and Orientation in the Era of Precision Medicine.

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INSERM, UMR_S 1138, Cordeliers Research Center, Team Cancer, Immune Control and Escape, Paris, France.
University Paris Descartes Paris 5, Sorbonne Paris Cite, UMR_S 1138, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France.
Sorbonne University, UMR_S 1138, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France.
Programme Cartes d'Identité des Tumeurs, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, Paris, France.


Tumors are formed by aggregates of cells of various origins including malignant, stromal and immune cells. The number of therapies targeting the microenvironment is increasing as the tumor microenvironment is more and more recognized as playing an essential role in tumor control. In the era of precision medicine, it is essential to precisely estimate the composition, organization and functionality of the individual patient tumor microenvironment and to find ways to therapeutically modulate it. To quantify the cell populations present in the tumor microenvironment, many tools are now available and the most recent approaches will be reviewed herein. We provide an overview of experimental and computational methodologies used to quantify tumor-associated cellular populations, including immunohistochemistry, flow and mass cytometry, bulk and single-cell transcriptomic approaches. We illustrate their respective contribution to characterize the microenvironment. We also discuss how these methods allow to guide therapeutic choices, in relation to the predictive value of some characteristics of the microenvironment.


human cancer; immunotherapy; prognostic markers; quantitative analysis; tumor microenvironment

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