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Review

Cancer Research Frontiers. 2015 Apr; 1(2): 149-161. doi: 10.17980/2015.149

Tumor-associated macrophages, multi-tasking cells in the cancer landscape

Giulia Marelli 1, Paola Allavena 1, Marco Erreni 1[*]

1Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 113, Rozzano (Milan), 20089, Italy

 

[*] Corresponding author: Erreni Marco, PhD. Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 113, Rozzano (Milan), 20089, Italy. Tel. +39 02 82245136; E-mail: marco.erreni@humanitasresearch.it

Citation: Giulia Marelli et al. Tumor-associated macrophages, multi-tasking cells in the cancer landscape. Cancer Research Frontiers. 2015 Apr; 1(2): 149-161. doi: 10.17980/2015.149

Copyright: @ 2015 Giulia Marelli et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Received February 25, 2015; Revised April 1, 2015; Accepted May 10, 2015.

 

Abstract

It is now well recognized that myeloid cells of the innate immunity infiltrating the tumor micro-environment, instead of halting tumor progression, favour the proliferation of tumor cells and their invasive ability. In particular, macrophages represent the most abundant leukocyte population recruited at tumor sites, from early stages till the occurrence of metastasis. Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAMs) are crucial determinants of cancer cell survival and proliferation; they efficiently trigger neo-angiogenesis and matrix degradation and suppress potential anti-tumor adaptive immune responses. Established evidence demonstrated that high density of infiltrating TAMs is usually associated with fast tumor progression and resistance to anti-cancer therapies. Targeting of TAMs or modulation of their functions is now actively pursued. In this review we discuss recent knowledge and current therapeutic approaches behind TAMs. A better understanding of their features, heterogeneity in particular, and of their tumor-promoting functions is essential to better design TAM-centered therapeutic interventions. Understanding of how best to combine TAM-targeted approaches and conventional chemotherapy or immunotherapy, holds promise for successful anti-cancer treatments.

Keywords: Tumor, macrophages, TAMs, Cancer-related inflammation.

 

 

 

 

 

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