Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(11), 13949-13965; doi:10.3390/ijms131113949
Review

Microenvironments and Cellular Characteristics in the Micro Tumor Cords of Malignant Solid Tumors

1 Group of Radiation and Tumor Biology, Career-Path Promotion Unit for Young Life Scientists, Kyoto University, Yoshida Konoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan 2 Department of Radiation Oncology and Image-applied Therapy, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, 54 Shogoin Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan 3 Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, No.1 Friendship Road, Yuanjiagang, Yuzhong District, Chongqing 400016, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2012; in revised form: 14 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 29 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Oncology)
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Abstract: Because of the accelerated proliferation of cancer cells and the limited distance that molecular oxygen can diffuse from functional tumor blood vessels, there appears to be a unique histology in malignant solid tumors, conglomerates of micro tumor cords. A functional blood vessel exists at the center of each tumor cord and is sequentially surrounded by well-oxygenated, oxygen-insufficient, and oxygen-depleted cancer cells in the shape of baumkuchen (layered). Cancer cells, by inducing the expression of various genes, adapt to the highly heterogeneous microenvironments in each layer. Accumulated evidence has suggested that not only tumor microenvironments but also cellular adaptive responses to them, influence the radioresistance of cancer cells. However, precisely how these factors affect one another and eventually influence the therapeutic effect of radiation therapy remains to be elucidated. Here, based on recent basic and clinical cancer research, we deduced extrinsic (oxygen concentration, glucose concentration, pH etc.) and intrinsic (transcriptional activity of hypoxia-inducible factor 1, metabolic pathways, cell cycle status, proliferative activity etc.) parameters in each layer of a tumor cord. In addition, we reviewed the latest information about the molecular mechanism linking these factors with both tumor radioresistance and tumor recurrence after radiation therapy.
Keywords: tumor microenvironment; hypoxia; glucose availability; hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1); radioresistance; chemoresistance; metabolism

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yeom, C.J.; Goto, Y.; Zhu, Y.; Hiraoka, M.; Harada, H. Microenvironments and Cellular Characteristics in the Micro Tumor Cords of Malignant Solid Tumors. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 13949-13965.

AMA Style

Yeom CJ, Goto Y, Zhu Y, Hiraoka M, Harada H. Microenvironments and Cellular Characteristics in the Micro Tumor Cords of Malignant Solid Tumors. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(11):13949-13965.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yeom, Chan J.; Goto, Yoko; Zhu, Yuxi; Hiraoka, Masahiro; Harada, Hiroshi. 2012. "Microenvironments and Cellular Characteristics in the Micro Tumor Cords of Malignant Solid Tumors." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 11: 13949-13965.

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