Tumor-associated myeloid cells as guiding forces of cancer cell stemness

Antonio Sica, Chiara Porta, Alberto Amadori, Anna Pastò

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Due to their ability to differentiate into various cell types and to support tissue regeneration, stem cells simultaneously became the holy grail of regenerative medicine and the evil obstacle in cancer therapy. Several studies have investigated niche-related conditions that favor stemness properties and increasingly emphasized their association with an inflammatory environment. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are major orchestrators of cancer-related inflammation, able to dynamically express different polarized inflammatory programs that promote tumor outgrowth, including tumor angiogenesis, immunosuppression, tissue remodeling and metastasis formation. In addition, these myeloid populations support cancer cell stemness, favoring tumor maintenance and progression, as well as resistance to anticancer treatments. Here, we discuss inflammatory circuits and molecules expressed by TAMs and MDSCs as guiding forces of cancer cell stemness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1036
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunotherapy
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages
  • Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells
  • Neoplasms
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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