A framework for advancing our understanding of cancer-associated fibroblasts

Published on Mar 1, 2020in Nature Reviews Cancer53.03
· DOI :10.1038/S41568-019-0238-1
Erik Sahai71
Estimated H-index: 71
(Francis Crick Institute),
Igor Astsaturov29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Fox Chase Cancer Center)
+ 26 AuthorsZena Werb180
Estimated H-index: 180
(UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a key component of the tumour microenvironment with diverse functions, including matrix deposition and remodelling, extensive reciprocal signalling interactions with cancer cells and crosstalk with infiltrating leukocytes. As such, they are a potential target for optimizing therapeutic strategies against cancer. However, many challenges are present in ongoing attempts to modulate CAFs for therapeutic benefit. These include limitations in our understanding of the origin of CAFs and heterogeneity in CAF function, with it being desirable to retain some antitumorigenic functions. On the basis of a meeting of experts in the field of CAF biology, we summarize in this Consensus Statement our current knowledge and present a framework for advancing our understanding of this critical cell type within the tumour microenvironment. This Consensus Statement highlights the importance of cancer-associated fibroblasts in cancer biology and progression, and issues a call to action for all cancer researchers to standardize assays and report metadata in studies of cancer-associated fibroblasts to advance our understanding of this important cell type in the tumour microenvironment.
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