Breast cancer stem cells, cytokine networks, and the tumor microenvironment.

Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.
The Journal of clinical investigation (Impact Factor: 15.39). 10/2011; 121(10):3804-9. DOI: 10.1172/JCI57099
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many tumors, including breast cancer, are maintained by a subpopulation of cells that display stem cell properties, mediate metastasis, and contribute to treatment resistance. These cancer stem cells (CSCs) are regulated by complex interactions with the components of the tumor microenvironment - including mesenchymal stem cells, adipocytes, tumor associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and immune cells - through networks of cytokines and growth factors. Since these components have a direct influence on CSC properties, they represent attractive targets for therapeutic development.

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