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Int J Cancer. 2019 Nov 15;145(10):2611-2618. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32343. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Beyond the tumour microenvironment.

Laplane L1,2,3, Duluc D4,5, Bikfalvi A2,3,5,6, Larmonier N4,5, Pradeu T2,3,4,5.

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INSERM UMR 1170, Normal and Pathological Hematopoiesis, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.
CNRS UMR8590, Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Techniques, Paris, France.
Department of Philosophy, University Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris, France.
CNRS UMR5164, ImmunoConcEpT, Bordeaux, France.
Department of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
INSERM U1029, Angiogenesis and Cancer Microenvironment Laboratory, Bordeaux, France.


In contrast to the once dominant tumour-centric view of cancer, increasing attention is now being paid to the tumour microenvironment (TME), generally understood as the elements spatially located in the vicinity of the tumour. Thinking in terms of TME has proven extremely useful, in particular because it has helped identify and comprehend the role of nongenetic and noncell-intrinsic factors in cancer development. Yet some current approaches have led to a TME-centric view, which is no less problematic than the former tumour-centric vision of cancer, insofar as it tends to overlook the role of components located beyond the TME, in the 'tumour organismal environment' (TOE). In this minireview, we highlight the explanatory and therapeutic shortcomings of the TME-centric view and insist on the crucial importance of the TOE in cancer progression.


immune system; microbiome; nervous system; tumour microenvironment; tumour organismal environment

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