Structured myeloid cells and anti-angiogenic therapy in alveolar soft part sarcoma

Chiara Castelli, Marcella Tazzari, Tiziana Negri, Barbara Vergani, Licia Rivoltini, Silvia Stacchiotti, Silvana Pilotti

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Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) is a rare soft tissue sarcoma and the clinical management of patients with unresectable, metastatic disease is still challenging. ASPS expresses an array of potentially therapeutically targetable, angiogenesis-related molecules and, importantly, it has a distinctive angiogenic phenotype marked by a peculiar tumor-associated vasculature. Several studies, conducted in transgenic mouse models and in a large variety of human tumors of different histotype, clearly proved the substantial contribution of tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells, such as myeloid derived suppressor cells, monocytes and macrophages, in the formation and maintenance of abnormal blood vessels in tumors. By immunohistochemistry we thus explored the presence and the distribution of cells expressing myeloid markers in the inflammatory infiltrate of surgical treated metastatic ASPS. Indeed, we found that myeloid cells expressing CD14 and CD163 markers constitute the prominent cells in the inflammatory infiltrate of ASPS. These macrophage-like cells form a network surrounding the endothelial cells, or, interspersed in the tumor nest, they keep deep contact with tumor cells. In this commentary, we discussed our findings in relation to the recently published paper by Kummar and colleagues reporting the clinical and molecular results of a phase II clinical trial in patients with unresectable, metastatic ASPS treated with the anti-angiogenic drug cediranib, targeting the VEGFR-1,-2,-3 tyrosine kinases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number237
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 27 2013


  • Anti-angiogenic therapy
  • Immune infiltrating cells
  • Inflammation
  • Myeloid cells
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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