Clinical significance of macrophage heterogeneity in human malignant tumors
Article first published online: 29 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Cancer Science published by Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Volume 105, Issue 1, pages 1–8, January 2014
How to Cite
Cancer Sci 105 (2014) 1–8
- Issue published online: 24 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 29 NOV 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 29 OCT 2013 11:53PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 16 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Received: 8 JUL 2013
- Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan
The fact that various immune cells, including macrophages, can be found in tumor tissue has long been known. With the recent introduction of the novel concept of macrophage differentiation into a classically activated phenotype (M1) and an alternatively activated phenotype (M2), the role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is gradually beginning to be elucidated. Specifically, in human malignant tumors, TAMs that have differentiated into M2 macrophages act as “protumoral macrophages” and contribute to the progression of disease. Based on recent basic and preclinical research, TAMs that have differentiated into protumoral or M2 macrophages are believed to be intimately involved in the angiogenesis, immunosuppression, and activation of tumor cells. In this paper, we specifically discuss both the role of TAMs in human malignant tumors and the cell–cell interactions between TAMs and tumor cells.