Cancer-promoting tumor-associated macrophages: New vistas and open questions



Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are key components of the tumor macroenvironment. Cancer- and host cell-derived signals generally drive the functions of TAMs towards an M2-like polarized, tumor-propelling mode; however, when appropriately re-educated. TAMs also have the potential to elicit tumor destructive reactions. Here, we discuss recent advances regarding the immunobiology of TAMs and highlight open questions including the mechanisms of their accumulation (recruitment versus proliferation), their diversity and how to best therapeutically target these cells.