Sarcomas are rare and heterogeneous malignant tumors relatively resistant to radio- and chemotherapy. Sarcoma progression is deeply dependent on environmental conditions that sustain both cancer growth and invasive abilities. Sarcoma microenvironment is composed of different stromal cell types and extracellular proteins. In this context, cancer cells may cooperate or compete with stromal cells for metabolic nutrients to sustain their survival and to adapt to environmental changes. The strict interplay between stromal and sarcoma cells deeply affects the extracellular metabolic milieu, thus altering the behavior of both cancer cells and other non-tumor cells, including immune cells. Cancer cells are typically dependent on glucose fermentation for growth and lactate is one of the most heavily increased metabolites in the tumor bulk. Currently, lactate is no longer considered a waste product of the Warburg metabolism, but novel signaling molecules able to regulate the behavior of tumor cells, tumor-stroma interactions and the immune response. In this review, we illustrate the role of lactate in the strong acidity microenvironment of sarcoma. Really, in the biological context of sarcoma, where novel targeted therapies are needed to improve patient outcomes in combination with current therapies or as an alternative treatment, lactate targeting could be a promising approach to future clinical trials.
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