Origin and functions of Tumor-Associated Myeloid Cells (TAMCs)

Antonio Sica, Chiara Porta, Sara Morlacchi, Stefania Banfi, Laura Strauss, Monica Rimoldi, Maria Grazia Totaro, Elena Riboldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The construction of an inflammatory microenvironment provides the fuel for cancer development and progression. Hence, solid tumors promote the expansion and the recruitment of leukocyte populations, among which tumor-associated myeloid cells (TAMCs) represent a paradigm for cancer-promoting inflammation. TAMCs group heterogeneous phagocytic populations stemming from a common myeloid progenitor (CMP), that orchestrate various aspects of cancer, including: diversion and skewing of adaptive responses; immunosuppression; cell growth; angiogenesis; matrix deposition and remodelling; construction of a metastatic niche and actual metastasis. Several evidence indicate that TAMCs show plasticity and/or functional heterogeneity, suggesting that tumour-derived factors promote their functional "reprogramming" towards protumoral activities. While recent studies have attempted to address the role of microenvironment signals, the interplay between cancer cells, innate and adaptive immunity is now emerging as a crucial step of the TAMCs reprogramming. Here we discuss the evidence for the differentiation of TAMCs during the course of tumor progression and the molecular mechanisms that regulate such event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalCancer Microenvironment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Angiogenic monocytes Tie2+ (TEMs)
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs)
  • Polarized inflammation
  • Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs)
  • Tumor-associated myeloid cells (TAMCs)
  • Tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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