In most (if not all) solid tumors, malignant cells are outnumbered by their non-malignant counterparts, including immune, endothelial and stromal cells. However, while the mechanisms whereby cancer cells adapt to microenvironmental perturbations have been studied in great detail, relatively little is known on stress responses in non-malignant compartments of the tumor microenvironment. Here, we discuss the mechanisms whereby cancer-associated fibroblasts and other cellular components of the tumor stroma react to stress in the context of an intimate crosstalk with malignant, endothelial and immune cells, and how such crosstalk influences disease progression and response to treatment.
- Immunosuppressive metabolites
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Oxidative phosphorylation