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Cancer Microenvironment

Section edited by Davide Bedognetti

© © nopparit / Getty Images / iStock

The Cancer microenvironment section publishes research on the cellular and molecular components of the cancer microenvironment, with a particular focus on translational research that has important implications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human neoplasms.

Submissions that relate to the characterisation of the molecular profile and regulation of cancers at different tumour stages are especially welcome, as are those which identify specific cancer microenvironments that predict tumour incidence, response to therapy and outcome. Laboratory studies of new drugs and biological agents that target cancer microenvironments will also be considered.

Featured articles


microRNA-1271 impedes the development of prostate cancer by downregulating PES1 and upregulating ERβ

Research | Zhenming Jiang et al


Tumor microenvironment differences between primary tumor and brain metastases

Review | Bernardo Cacho-Díaz et al


Identification of key genes controlling breast cancer stem cell characteristics via stemness indices analysis

Research | Jianying Pei et al

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  1. Metastasis is a major threat to colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. We have reported that peroxiredoxin-2 (PRDX2) is associated with CRC invasion and metastasis. However, the mechanisms regulating PRDX2 expressi...

    Authors: Zhenbing Lv, Jinlai Wei, Wenxian You, Rong Wang, Jingkun Shang, Yongfu Xiong, Hua Yang, Xuanhua Yang and Zhongxue Fu
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:257
  2. Studies investigating the oxygenation status and the development of hypoxia in microscopic tumors are sparse. The purpose of this study was to measure the extent of hypoxia in microscopic melanoma xenografts a...

    Authors: Jon-Vidar Gaustad, Trude G. Simonsen, Lise Mari K. Andersen and Einar K. Rofstad
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:241
  3. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive tumor with a high fatality rate. It was recently found that parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH) was frequently overexpressed in ICC compared with non...

    Authors: Jing Tang, Yan Liao, Shuying He, Jie Shi, Liang Peng, Xiaoping Xu, Fang Xie, Na Diao, Jinlan Huang, Qian Xie, Chuang Lin, Xiaoying Luo, Kaili Liao, Juanjuan Ma, Jingyi Li, Daichao Zhou…
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:238
  4. The use of patient-derived primary cell cultures in cancer preclinical assays has increased in recent years. The management of resected tumor tissue remains complex and a number of parameters must be respected...

    Authors: Giacomo Miserocchi, Laura Mercatali, Chiara Liverani, Alessandro De Vita, Chiara Spadazzi, Federica Pieri, Alberto Bongiovanni, Federica Recine, Dino Amadori and Toni Ibrahim
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:229
  5. Abnormalities in the tumor microenvironment are associated with resistance to treatment, aggressive growth, and poor clinical outcome in patients with advanced cervical cancer. The potential of dynamic contras...

    Authors: Anette Hauge, Catherine S. Wegner, Jon-Vidar Gaustad, Trude G. Simonsen, Lise Mari K. Andersen and Einar K. Rofstad
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:225
  6. There is increasing evidence that the existence of systemic inflammation response is correlated with poor prognosis in several solid tumors. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the associati...

    Authors: Yu-Suo Tong, Juan Tan, Xi-Lei Zhou, Ya-Qi Song and Ying-Jian Song
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:221
  7. The predictive accuracy of the traditional staging system is based on disease progression as a tumour cell-autonomous process, but it fails to incorporate the effects of the host immune response. A precise ana...

    Authors: Jerome Galon, Alessandro Lugli, Carlo Bifulco, Franck Pages, Giuseppe Masucci, Francesco M. Marincola and Paolo A. Ascierto
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:212
  8. Autophagy is a highly regulated biological process that mediates the degradation of intracellular components. It is required for tumor cell metabolism and homeostasis. Yin-Yang 1 (YY1) has been reported to be ...

    Authors: Chuang Yang, Jing-Jing Zhang, Yun-Peng Peng, Yi Zhu, Ling-Di Yin, Ji-Shu Wei, Wen-Tao Gao, Kui-Rong Jiang and Yi Miao
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:211
  9. The mitochondrial protein p32 is a validated therapeutic target of cancer overexpressed in glioma. Therapeutic targeting of p32 with monoclonal antibody or p32-binding LyP-1 tumor-homing peptide can limit tumo...

    Authors: Venkata Yenugonda, Natsuko Nomura, Valentina Kouznetsova, Igor Tsigelny, Valentina Fogal, Elmar Nurmemmedov, Santosh Kesari and Ivan Babic
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:210
  10. Extracellular acidosis is a condition found within the tumor microenvironment due to inadequate blood perfusion, hypoxia, and altered tumor cell metabolism. Acidosis has pleiotropic effects on malignant progre...

    Authors: Calvin R. Justus, Edward J. Sanderlin, Lixue Dong, Tianai Sun, Jen-Tsan Chi, Kvin Lertpiriyapong and Li V. Yang
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:204
  11. Malignant melanoma of the skin can metastasize through blood vessels and lymphatics. The primary tumor develops a vascular microenvironment characterized by abnormal blood vessels and lymphatics and a physicoc...

    Authors: Ruixia Huang, Lise Mari K. Andersen and Einar K. Rofstad
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:203
  12. Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive primary brain cancer, for which curative therapies are not available. An emerging therapeutic approach suggested to have potential to target malignant gliomas has been...

    Authors: Joana Vieira de Castro, Eduardo D. Gomes, Sara Granja, Sandra I. Anjo, Fátima Baltazar, Bruno Manadas, António J. Salgado and Bruno M. Costa
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:200
  13. SLFN11 is a recently discovered protein with a putative DNA/RNA helicase function. First identified in association with the maturation of thymocytes, SLFN11 was later causally associated, by two independent gr...

    Authors: Alberto Ballestrero, Davide Bedognetti, Domenico Ferraioli, Paola Franceschelli, Sana Intidhar Labidi-Galy, Elisabetta Leo, Junko Murai, Yves Pommier, Petros Tsantoulis, Valerio Gaetano Vellone and Gabriele Zoppoli
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:199
  14. In order to improve therapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), biomarkers associated with local and/or distant tumor relapses and cancer drug resistance are urgently needed. This study identifi...

    Authors: Shutong Liu, Bo Ren, Hang Gao, Suchan Liao, Ying-Xian Zhai, Shirong Li, Xue-Jin Su, Ping Jin, David Stroncek, Zhixiang Xu, Qinghua Zeng and Yulin Li
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:189
  15. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide owing to its high rates of metastasis and recurrence. The oncogene IQ motif-containing GTPase activating protein 3 (IQGAP3) is ubiquitous...

    Authors: Yongjie Shi, Nan Qin, Qiang Zhou, Yanqiu Chen, Sicong Huang, Bo Chen, Gang Shen and Hongyun Jia
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:176
  16. The coiled-coil domain is a structural motif found in proteins that participate in a variety of biological processes. Aberrant expression of such proteins has been shown to be associated with the malignant beh...

    Authors: Ran Xu, Mingzhi Han, Yangyang Xu, Xin Zhang, Chao Zhang, Di Zhang, Jianxiong Ji, Yuzhen Wei, Shuai Wang, Bin Huang, Anjing Chen, Qing Zhang, Wenjie Li, Tao Sun, Feng Wang, Xingang Li…
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:165
  17. Dendritic cells (DC) and tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) are essential in linking the innate and adaptive immune response against tumour cells and tumour progression. These cells are also potential target ...

    Authors: Sebastian Lundgren, Emelie Karnevi, Jacob Elebro, Björn Nodin, Mikael C. I. Karlsson, Jakob Eberhard, Karin Leandersson and Karin Jirström
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:152
  18. The interaction of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C)/VEGF-D/VEGF receptor-3 is considered to be a major driver of lymphangiogenesis, however the mechanism of this process remains unclear. We aimed ...

    Authors: Haruhisa Kitano, Joon-Yong Chung, Kyung Hee Noh, Young-Ho Lee, Tae Woo Kim, Seok Hyung Lee, Soo-Heang Eo, Hyung Jun Cho, Chel Hun Choi, Shuhei Inoue, Jun Hanaoka, Junya Fukuoka and Stephen M. Hewitt
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:138
  19. Shikonin, a natural naphthoquinone pigment purified from Lithospermum erythrorhizon, induces necroptosis in various cancer types, but the mechanisms underlying the anticancer activity of shikonin in lung cancer a...

    Authors: Hyo-Jin Kim, Ki-Eun Hwang, Do-Sim Park, Seon-Hee Oh, Hong Young Jun, Kwon-Ha Yoon, Eun-Taik Jeong, Hak-Ryul Kim and Young-Suk Kim
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:123
  20. Imatinib causes increased turnover of stromal collagen, reduces collagen fibril diameter, enhances extracellular fluid turnover and lowers interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) in the human colonic carcinoma KAT-4...

    Authors: Mikhail Burmakin, Tijs van Wieringen, P. Olof Olsson, Linda Stuhr, Aive Åhgren, Carl-Henrik Heldin, Rolf K. Reed, Kristofer Rubin and Carina Hellberg
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:47
  21. In a previously reported study, patients with regionally advanced melanoma were treated with neoadjuvant ipilimumab (ipi) (Tarhini in PLoS ONE 9(2): e87705, 3). Significant changes in circulating myeloid derived...

    Authors: Yana G. Najjar, Fei Ding, Yan Lin, Robert VanderWeele, Lisa H. Butterfield and Ahmad A. Tarhini
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2017 15:39
  22. The robust desmoplasia associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) suggests that the tumor microenvironment may be an important component in the pathophysiology of this cancer. Moreover, the ...

    Authors: Tammara L. Watts, Ruwen Cui, Peter Szaniszlo, Vicente A. Resto, Don W. Powell and Irina V. Pinchuk
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:337
  23. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are the most frequent hemato-oncological malignancies. Despite recent major advances in treatment, a substantial proportion of patients relapses highlighting the need for new therap...

    Authors: Thais Bascuas, María Moreno, Amy Mónaco, Laura Reyes, Andrea Paolino, Patricia Oliver, María G. Kramer, Henry Engler, José P. Pacheco, Sofía Grille and José A. Chabalgoity
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:323
  24. E-cadherin is a major component of adherens junctions that regulates cell shape and maintains tissue integrity. A complete loss or any decrease in cell surface expression of E-cadherin will interfere with the ...

    Authors: Hager Memni, Yosra Macherki, Zahra Klayech, Ahlem Ben-Haj-Ayed, Karim Farhat, Yassmine Remadi, Sallouha Gabbouj, Wijden Mahfoudh, Nadia Bouzid, Noureddine Bouaouina, Lotfi Chouchane, Abdelfattah Zakhama and Elham Hassen
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:320
  25. In recent years, immunomodulatory mechanisms of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) from bone marrow and other “classic” sources have been described. However, the phenotypic and functional properties of tumo...

    Authors: María de Lourdes Mora-García, Rosario García-Rocha, Omar Morales-Ramírez, Juan José Montesinos, Benny Weiss-Steider, Jorge Hernández-Montes, Luis Roberto Ávila-Ibarra, Christian Azucena Don-López, Marco Antonio Velasco-Velázquez, Vianey Gutiérrez-Serrano and Alberto Monroy-García
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:302
  26. Age has been reported as an independent prognostic factor for melanoma-specific survival (MSS). We tested the hypothesis that age impacts the host anti-tumor immune response, accounting for age-specific surviv...

    Authors: Sarah A. Weiss, Joseph Han, Farbod Darvishian, Jeremy Tchack, Sung Won Han, Karolina Malecek, Michelle Krogsgaard, Iman Osman and Judy Zhong
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:299
  27. Tumor microenvironment (TME) plays an integral part in the biology of cancer, participating in tumor initiation, progression, and response to therapy. Exosome is an important part of TME. Exosomes are small ve...

    Authors: Zhen Wang, Jun-Qiang Chen, Jin-lu Liu and Lei Tian
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:297
  28. Several cellular functions relate to ion-channels activity. Physiologically relevant chains of events leading to angiogenesis, cell cycle and different forms of cell death, require transmembrane voltage contro...

    Authors: Antonella Biasiotta, Daniela D’Arcangelo, Francesca Passarelli, Ezio Maria Nicodemi and Antonio Facchiano
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:285
  29. Molecular subtypes of breast cancer and presence of tumor-infiltrating immune cells have both been implicated as important predictive and prognostic factors for improved risk stratification and treatment indiv...

    Authors: M. Miyan, J. Schmidt-Mende, R. Kiessling, I. Poschke and J. de Boniface
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:227
  30. Acquired radioresistance during radiotherapy is considered as the most important reason for local tumor recurrence or treatment failure. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have recently been identified as microRNA spong...

    Authors: Huafang Su, Fuqiang Lin, Xia Deng, Lanxiao Shen, Ya Fang, Zhenghua Fei, Lihao Zhao, Xuebang Zhang, Huanle Pan, Deyao Xie, Xiance Jin and Congying Xie
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:225
  31. Immune regulation is crucial for the pathogenesis of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). It has been reported that Th17 cells as a newly identified subset of CD4+ T cells are involved in the pathogenesis...

    Authors: Laixi Bi, Junqing Wu, Aifang Ye, Jianbo Wu, Kang Yu, Shenghui Zhang and Yixiang Han
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:132
  32. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) is a type of oncogenic protein involved in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) via interacting with host genes. Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) has bee...

    Authors: Guifang Yu, Xuezhu Chen, Shudi Chen, Weipeng Ye, Kailian Hou and Min Liang
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:122
  33. Angiogenesis inhibition is a promising approach for treating metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Recent evidences support the seemingly counterintuitive ability of certain antiangiogenic drugs to promote norm...

    Authors: V. Leuci, F. Maione, R. Rotolo, E. Giraudo, F. Sassi, G. Migliardi, M. Todorovic, L. Gammaitoni, G. Mesiano, L. Giraudo, P. Luraghi, F. Leone, F. Bussolino, G. Grignani, M. Aglietta, L. Trusolino…
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:119
  34. TLR4/MD-2 complex-mediated MyD88-dependent activation of NF-κB and Akt promotes tumor-associated immunosuppression in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) via induction of immunesuppressive cytokines and indoleamin...

    Authors: Hong Liu, Guonan Zhang, Jianming Huang, Shiqi Ma, Kun Mi, Jia Cheng, Yi Zhu, Xiao Zha and Wei Huang
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:104
  35. Changes in the tumor microenvironment and immune surveillance represent crucial hallmarks of various kinds of cancer, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and a close crosstalk of hypoxia regulating ...

    Authors: Alexander W. Eckert, Claudia Wickenhauser, Paul C. Salins, Matthias Kappler, Juergen Bukur and Barbara Seliger
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:85

    The Correction to this article has been published in Journal of Translational Medicine 2018 16:40

  36. Growing evidence is showing that metastatic cell populations are able to transfer their characteristics to less malignant cells. Exosomes (EXOs) are membrane vesicles of endocytic origin able to convey their c...

    Authors: Federica Felicetti, Alessandra De Feo, Carolina Coscia, Rossella Puglisi, Francesca Pedini, Luca Pasquini, Maria Bellenghi, Maria Cristina Errico, Elena Pagani and Alessandra Carè
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:56
  37. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) activity has been implicated in the therapeutic drug resistance of many malignancies and has been widely used as a marker to identify stem-like cells, including in primary live...

    Authors: Prashasnika Gehlot, Vivek Shukla, Sanjay Gupta and Paul E. Makidon
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:49
  38. Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs that are involved in gene expression regulation. Taurine up-regulated gene 1 (TUG1) is a cancer progression related lncRNA in some tumor...

    Authors: Junfeng Sun, Chaohui Ding, Zhen Yang, Tao Liu, Xiefu Zhang, Chunlin Zhao and Jiaxiang Wang
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:42

    The Correction to this article has been published in Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:491

  39. The heterogeneous and dynamic tumor microenvironment has significant impact on cancer cell proliferation, invasion, drug response, and is probably associated with entering dormancy and recurrence. However, the...

    Authors: Josephine Y. Fang, Shih-Jye Tan, Yi-Chen Wu, Zhi Yang, Ba X. Hoang and Bo Han
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:38
  40. Nitrobenzoxadiazole derivatives (NBDs), including NBDHEX and the recently developed MC3181, are promising anticancer agents able to target glutathione transferase and inhibit both its catalytic activity and a...

    Authors: Camilla Palumbo, Anastasia De Luca, Nicola Rosato, Mariantonietta Forgione, Dante Rotili and Anna Maria Caccuri
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:37
  41. Tumour-derived microvesicles (TMVs) are important players in tumour progression, modulating biological activity of immune cells e.g. lymphocytes, monocytes and macrophages. This phenomenon is particularly inte...

    Authors: Monika Baj-Krzyworzeka, Bożenna Mytar, Rafał Szatanek, Marcin Surmiak, Kazimierz Węglarczyk, Jarek Baran and Maciej Siedlar
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:36
  42. CD24, a mucin-like membrane glycoprotein, plays a critical role in carcinogenesis, but its role in human gastric cancer and the underlying mechanism remains undefined.

    Authors: Wenjie Deng, Luo Gu, Xiaojie Li, Jianchao Zheng, Yujie Zhang, Biao Duan, Jie Cui, Jing Dong and Jun Du
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:32
  43. Fibroblasts are known as critical stromal cells in wound healing by synthesizing extracellular matrix and collagen. A subpopulation of them is called cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), because their product...

    Authors: Jiangfeng Wang, Guangyu Zhang, Jianbo Wang, Lu Wang, Xiaochen Huang and Yufeng Cheng
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2016 14:30
  44. Tumour cells release membrane micro(nano)fragments called tumour-derived microvesicles (TMV) that are believed to play an important role in cancer progression. TMV suppress/modify antitumour response of the ho...

    Authors: Małgorzata Stec, Rafał Szatanek, Monika Baj-Krzyworzeka, Jarosław Baran, Maria Zembala, Jakub Barbasz, Agnieszka Waligórska, Jurek W. Dobrucki, Bożenna Mytar, Antoni Szczepanik, Maciej Siedlar, Grażyna Drabik, Barbara Urbanowicz and Marek Zembala
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2015 13:376
  45. This study aimed to investigate whether the DNA methylation of human ovarian carcinoma stromal progenitor cells (OCSPCs) could promote the tumorigenesis of ovarian carcinoma.

    Authors: Chih-Ming Ho, Daniel Tzu-bi Shih, Chih-Chiang Hsiao, Shih-Hung Huang, Shwu-Fen Chang and Wen-Fang Cheng
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2015 13:367
  46. Fei-Liu-Ping (FLP) ointment is an oral prescription medication that has been widely applied to treat lung cancer patients in China. Regulation of the metastatic microenvironment is an important therapeutic app...

    Authors: Rui Liu, Honggang Zheng, Weidong Li, Qiujun Guo, Shulin He, Yoshiro Hirasaki, Wei Hou, Baojin Hua, Conghuang Li, Yanju Bao, Yebo Gao, Xin Qi, Yingxia Pei and Yun Zhang
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2015 13:366
  47. Chemokines have been recognized as important modulators of angiogenesis, and they play critical roles in the development and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), although their origins and latent mole...

    Authors: Bing Zhu, Nan Lin, Min Zhang, Yong Zhu, Huanhuan Cheng, Shuxian Chen, Yunbiao Ling, Weidong Pan and Ruiyun Xu
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2015 13:365
  48. To evaluate the influence of the progonistic nutritional index (PNI) and weight loss on metastasis and long-term mortality in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

    Authors: Xiao-Jing Du, Ling-Long Tang, Yan-Ping Mao, Rui Guo, Ying Sun, Ai-Hua Lin and Jun Ma
    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2015 13:364

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