Tumor-associated macrophages: implications in cancer immunotherapy.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), representing most of the leukocyte population in solid tumors, demonstrate great phenotypic heterogeneity and diverse functional capabilities under the influence of the local tumor microenvironment. These anti-inflammatory and protumorigenic macrophages modulate the local microenvironment to facilitate tumor growth and metastasis. In this review, we examine the origin of TAMs and the complex regulatory networks within the tumor microenvironment that facilitate the polarization of TAMs toward a protumoral phenotype. More extensively, we evaluate the mechanisms by which TAMs mediate angiogenesis, metastasis, chemotherapeutic resistance and immune evasion. Lastly, we will highlight novel interventional strategies targeting TAMs in preclinical studies and in early clinical trials that have significant potential in improving efficacy of current chemotherapeutic and/or immunotherapeutic approaches.
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