Perivascular tumor-associated macrophages and their role in cancer progression

Meriem Bahri, Joanne E. Anstee, James W. Opzoomer, James Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Perivascular (Pv) tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a highly specialized stromal subset within the tumor microenvironment (TME) that are defined by their spatial proximity, within one cell thickness, to blood vasculature. PvTAMs have been demonstrated to support a variety of pro-tumoral functions including angiogenesis, metastasis, and modulating the immune and stromal landscape. Furthermore, PvTAMs can also limit the response of anti-cancer and anti-angiogenic therapies and support tumor recurrence post-treatment. However, their role may not exclusively be pro-tumoral as PvTAMs can also have immune-stimulatory capabilities. PvTAMs are derived from a monocyte progenitor that develop and localize to the Pv niche as part of a multistep process which relies on a series of signals from tumor, endothelial and Pv mesenchymal cell populations. These cellular communications and signals create a highly specialized TAM subset that can also form CCR5-dependent multicellular ‘nest’ structures in the Pv niche. This review considers our current understanding of the role of PvTAMs, their markers for identification, development, and function in cancer. The role of PvTAMs in supporting disease progression and modulating the outcome from anti-cancer therapies highlight these cells as a therapeutic target. However, their resistance to pan-TAM targeting therapies, such as those targeting the colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF1)-CSF1 receptor axis, prompts the need for more targeted therapeutic approaches to be considered for this subset. This review highlights potential therapeutic strategies to target and modulate PvTAM development and function in the TME.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-928
Number of pages10
JournalEssays in Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023


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