The hypoxic tumour microenvironment

Varvara Petrova, Margherita Annicchiarico-Petruzzelli, Gerry Melino, Ivano Amelio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cancer progression often benefits from the selective conditions present in the tumour microenvironment, such as the presence of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), deregulated ECM deposition, expanded vascularisation and repression of the immune response. Generation of a hypoxic environment and activation of its main effector, hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), are common features of advanced cancers. In addition to the impact on tumour cell biology, the influence that hypoxia exerts on the surrounding cells represents a critical step in the tumorigenic process. Hypoxia indeed enables a number of events in the tumour microenvironment that lead to the expansion of aggressive clones from heterogeneous tumour cells and promote a lethal phenotype. In this article, we review the most relevant findings describing the influence of hypoxia and the contribution of HIF activation on the major components of the tumour microenvironment, and we summarise their role in cancer development and progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0011
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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