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Cancer-associated fibroblasts in gastrointestinal cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alastair BurtORCiD


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© 2019, Springer Nature Limited.The tumour microenvironment, also termed the tumour stroma or tumour mesenchyme, includes fibroblasts, immune cells, blood vessels and the extracellular matrix and substantially influences the initiation, growth and dissemination of gastrointestinal cancer. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are one of the critical components of the tumour mesenchyme and not only provide physical support for epithelial cells but also are key functional regulators in cancer, promoting and retarding tumorigenesis in a context-dependent manner. In this Review, we outline the emerging understanding of gastrointestinal CAFs with a particular emphasis on their origin and heterogeneity, as well as their function in cancer cell proliferation, tumour immunity, angiogenesis, extracellular matrix remodelling and drug resistance. Moreover, we discuss the clinical implications of CAFs as biomarkers and potential targets for prevention and treatment of patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kobayashi H, Enomoto A, Woods SL, Burt AD, Takahashi M, Worthley DL

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Year: 2019

Volume: 16

Issue: 5

Pages: 282-295

Print publication date: 01/05/2019

Online publication date: 18/02/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1759-5045

ISSN (electronic): 1759-5053

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41575-019-0115-0

PubMed id: 30778141