In the tumor ecosystem, we recognize local and distant environments, and the circulation through which the exchange
of messages occurs. Communication is largely mediated through secretory protein signals and non-conventional
secretory mechanisms such as the release of extracellular vesicles containing protein and RNA payloads. A plethora of antibody
microarrays and mass spectrometry platforms are available to perform protein secretome analysis. Further application
of nanomaterials will improve sensitivity and robustness to detect low-abundance proteins. The term tumor secretome
is very broad; by using the ecosystem concept we introduce different in vivo and ex vivo sample types that can be employed
for proteomics. These include tumor interstitial fluid (TIF), tumor proximal body fluids, organotypic tissue slices
and exposure of a fresh surgical specimen to biotinylation, followed by streptavidin precipitation. In vitro models may
mimic the tumor ecosystem or can be simplified by incorporating one cell type from the tumor ecosystem. We believe that
models allowing the study of secretomes from tumor ecosystems will provide us insights in tumor biology, biomarkers
(prognostic/predictive) and novel therapeutic targets.
Keywords: CAF, exosome, proteomics, stroma, TIF.
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