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Cancers 2016, 8(2), 19;

Breast Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go

Molecular Oncology Research Institute and Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, New York, NY 10467, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Huey-Jen Lin
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts)
Full-Text   |   PDF [251 KB, uploaded 27 January 2016]


Cancers are heterogeneous tissues comprised of multiple components, including tumor cells and microenvironment cells. The tumor microenvironment has a critical role in tumor progression. The tumor microenvironment is comprised of various cell types, including fibroblasts, macrophages and immune cells, as well as extracellular matrix and various cytokines and growth factors. Fibroblasts are the predominant cell type in the tumor microenvironment. However, neither the derivation of tissue-specific cancer-associated fibroblasts nor markers of tissue-specific cancer-associated fibroblasts are well defined. Despite these uncertainties it is increasingly apparent that cancer-associated fibroblasts have a crucial role in tumor progression. In breast cancer, there is evolving evidence showing that breast cancer-associated fibroblasts are actively involved in breast cancer initiation, proliferation, invasion and metastasis. Breast cancer-associated fibroblasts also play a critical role in metabolic reprogramming of the tumor microenvironment and therapy resistance. This review summarizes the current understanding of breast cancer-associated fibroblasts. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; tumor microenvironment; cancer-associated fibroblasts breast cancer; tumor microenvironment; cancer-associated fibroblasts
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Buchsbaum, R.J.; Oh, S.Y. Breast Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go. Cancers 2016, 8, 19.

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