Involvement of Breast Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Tumor Development, Therapy Resistance and Evaluation of Potential Therapeutic Strategies

Author(s): Maria Rosaria Ruocco, Angelica Avagliano, Giuseppina Granato, Valeria Imparato, Stefania Masone, Mariorosario Masullo, Rosarita Nasso, Stefania Montagnani, Alessandro Arcucci*

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 25 , Issue 29 , 2018

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, which incidence has increased in recent years. It is constituted by very heterogeneous tissue characterized by an abnormal microenvironment regulating tumor progression and providing evasion from cancer therapies. Breast cancer-associated fibroblasts (BCAFs) are the main cell type of breast cancer microenvironment and can represent up to 80% of the tumor mass. In particular, BCAFs induce cancer initiation, proliferation, invasion and metastasis by undergoing an activation process associated with the secretion of growth factors, cytokines, and paracrine interactions. Therapy resistance is the main cause of poor therapeutic results or even failure in breast cancer patients. Despite recent advances in breast cancer management, there is a need for new prognostic markers and novel agents for targeting key signalling pathways to either improve the efficacy of the current therapies, or reduce toxicity. In this view, BCAFs represent markers useful to clinical diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis of breast cancer. This review focuses on the role of BCAFs in cancer, and describes the processes of endocrine/chemotherapy resistance linked to BCAFs action. Moreover, it points to molecules and pathways regulating therapy resistance induced by BCAFs. Finally, potential therapeutic strategies targeting BCAFs and offering new tools in breast cancer therapy are highlighted.

Keywords: Breast cancer, breast cancer associated fibroblasts, normal fibroblasts, estrogen, therapy resistance, tumor stroma.

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Article Details

Year: 2018
Page: [3414 - 3434]
Pages: 21
DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666180309120746
Price: $65

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