The tumor microenvironment: Part 1

Judith Leibovici*, Orit Itzhaki, Monica Huszar, Judith Sinai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


For years the mutated, highly proliferating neoplastic cells were presented as the only important agent in tumors; however, during the last 3-4 decades it has become clear that the microenvironment of the cancer cells plays a determinative role in the malignant evolution of neoplasia. Cancers are in fact heterogeneous entities containing, in addition to the neoplastic cell component, cells derived of multiple lineages (fibroblasts, endothelial cells lining blood and lymphatic vessels, pericytes, adipocytes and immune system cells belonging to both innate and adaptive responses), as well as the extracellular matrix, with a large variety of soluble molecules of biological importance, constituting a complex organ-like structure. The tumor microenvironment consists in a tissue that may have a predictive significance for tumor behavior and response to therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1384
Number of pages18
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • immune components
  • immune evasion
  • nonimmune components
  • tumor microenvironment
  • tumor progression


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