Stromal-epithelial interaction in prostate cancer progression.
ABSTRACT Cancer is not a single-cell disease, and its existence and behavior are constantly modulated by the host. Cancer gene expression and genetics are also highly dynamic and are regulated epigenetically by the host through gene-environment interaction. In this article, we describe the molecular pathways leading to an unusual property of cancer cells: the ability to mimic the host microenvironment and, in particular, the characteristics of osteomimicry and vasculogenic mimicry, which are likely to be regulated by soluble and insoluble factors in the tumor-adjacent microenvironment. We also discuss the importance of host inflammatory and stem cells that contribute to the growth and survival of cancer cells. By understanding the salient features of cancer-host interaction, novel therapeutics might be developed to target the cancer and its host in the treatment of lethal prostate cancer metastases.