Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) constitute a plastic and heterogeneous cell population of the tumor microenvironment (TME) that can account for up to 50% of some solid neoplasms. Most often, TAMs support disease progression and resistance to therapy by providing malignant cells with trophic and nutritional support. However, TAMs can mediate antineoplastic effects, especially in response to pharmacological agents that boost their phagocytic and oxidative functions. Thus, TAMs and their impact on the overall metabolic profile of the TME have a major influence on tumor progression and resistance to therapy, de facto constituting promising targets for the development of novel anticancer agents. Here, we discuss the metabolic circuitries whereby TAMs condition the TME to support tumor growth and how such pathways can be therapeutically targeted.
- fatty acid oxidation
- immunosuppressive metabolites
- oxidative phosphorylation