Research Papers:

The role of tumor microenvironment in therapeutic resistance

Beomseok Son, Sungmin Lee, HyeSook Youn, EunGi Kim, Wanyeon Kim and BuHyun Youn _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:3933-3945. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13907

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Beomseok Son1,*, Sungmin Lee1,*, HyeSook Youn2,*, EunGi Kim1, Wanyeon Kim3,4 and BuHyun Youn1,4

1 Department of Integrated Biological Science, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Integrative Bioscience and Biotechnology, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea

3 Integrative Graduate Program of Ship and Offshore Plant Technology for Ocean Energy Resource, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

BuHyun Youn, email:

Wanyeon Kim, email:

Keywords: tumor microenvironment, therapeutic resistance, myeloid cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, mesenchymal stem cells

Received: September 02, 2016 Accepted: December 01, 2016 Published: December 11, 2016


Cancer cells undergo unlimited progression and survival owing to activation of oncogenes. However, support of the tumor microenvironment is essential to the formation of clinically relevant tumors. Recent evidence indicates that the tumor microenvironment is a critical regulator of immune escape, progression, and distant metastasis of cancer. Moreover, the tumor microenvironment is known to be involved in acquired resistance of tumors to various therapies. Despite significant advances in chemotherapy and radiotherapy, occurrence of therapeutic resistance leads to reduced efficacy. This review highlights myeloid cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, and mesenchymal stem cells consisting of the tumor microenvironment, as well as the relevant signaling pathways that eventually render cancer cells to be therapeutically resistant.

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