Research Perspectives:

Targeting cancer associated fibroblasts to enhance immunotherapy: emerging strategies and future perspectives

Christopher J. Hanley and Gareth J. Thomas _

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Oncotarget. 2021; 12:1427-1433. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27936

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Christopher J. Hanley1 and Gareth J. Thomas1,2

1 School of Cancer Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

2 Cancer Research UK and NIHR Southampton Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Southampton, UK

Correspondence to:

Gareth J. Thomas,email: [email protected]

Keywords: tumour microenvironment; cancer associated fibroblasts; immunotherapy

Received: March 23, 2021     Accepted: March 24, 2021     Published: July 06, 2021

Copyright: © 2021 Hanley and Thomas. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Cancer associated fibroblasts are a prominent component of the tumour microenvironment in most solid cancers. This heterogeneous population of cells are known to play an important role in tumour progression and recent studies have demonstrated that CAFs may confer resistance to checkpoint immunotherapy, suggesting that targeting these cells could improve response rates. However, effective clinical strategies for CAF targeting have yet to be identified. In this editorial, we highlight current limitations in our understanding of CAF heterogeneity, and discuss the potential and possible approaches for CAF-directed therapy.

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PII: 27936