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Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts, its implication in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a mini review

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Abstract

The communication between tumor stromal and parenchymal cells provides an insight to tumor progression. One of the main elements of the stroma, a major contributor to the extracellular environment of tumors, is carcinoma-associated fibroblasts. They can originate from either normal fibroblasts in the immediate vicinity of the tumor or from circulating bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells. These myofibroblasts can arise locally from an endothelial–mesenchymal transformation at the invasive edge of the cancer and are physically associated with carcinoma cells, that is, in the development of high-grade malignancies and poor prognosis. These carcinoma-associated fibroblasts feed the epithelial tumor cells in a host–parasite relationship establishing its role in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma progression.

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