The tumor microenvironment (TME) has an essential role in tumor initiation and development. Tumor cells are considered to actively create their microenvironment during tumorigenesis and tumor development. The TME contains multiple types of stromal cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), Tumor endothelial cells (TECs), tumor-associated adipocytes (TAAs), tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and others. These cells work together and with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and many other factors to coordinately contribute to tumor growth and maintenance. Although the types and functions of TME cells are well understood, the origin of these cells is still obscure. Many scientists have tried to demonstrate the origin of these cells. Some researchers postulated that TME cells originated from surrounding normal tissues, and others demonstrated that the origin is cancer cells. Recent evidence demonstrates that cancer stem cells (CSCs) have differentiation abilities to generate the original lineage cells for promoting tumor growth and metastasis. The differentiation of CSCs into tumor stromal cells provides a new dimension that explains tumor heterogeneity. Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), our group postulates that CSCs could be one of the key sources of CAFs, TECs, TAAs, and TAMs as well as the descendants, which support the self-renewal potential of the cells and exhibit heterogeneity. In this review, we summarize TME components, their interactions within the TME and their insight into cancer therapy. Especially, we focus on the TME cells and their possible origin and also discuss the multi-lineage differentiation potentials of CSCs exploiting iPSCs to create a society of cells in cancer tissues including TME.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research