Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts: Understanding Their Heterogeneity
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
The Saban Research Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2020 / Revised: 12 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 24 October 2020
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play an important contributory role in the microenvironment of tumors. They originate from different cells, have multiple pro-and anti-tumorigenic functions in tumors and their presence is variable among cancer types. Recently, there has been evidence that CAFs represent a highly heterogeneous group of cells that can now be characterized and identified at the single cell level. This review article summarizes our recent understanding of the highly heterogeneous nature of the origin, phenotype and function of CAFs and how such understanding will lead to a more precise approach to target or use CAFs and their precursor cells in the treatment of cancer.