Cancer cells employ a variety of mechanisms to evade apoptosis and senescence. Pre-eminent among these is the aberrant co-expression of growth factors and their ligands, forming an autocrine growth loop that promotes tumour formation and progression. One growth loop whose transforming potential has been repeatedly demonstrated is the CSF-1/CSF-1R axis. Expression of CSF-1 and/or CSF-1R has been documented in a number of human malignancies, including breast, prostate and ovarian cancer and classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL). This review summarizes the large body of work undertaken to study the role of this cytokine receptor system in malignant transformation. These studies have attributed a key role to the CSF-1/CSF-1R axis in supporting tumour cell survival, proliferation and enhanced motility. Moreover, increasing evidence implicates paracrine interactions between CSF-1 and its receptor in defining a tumour-permissive and immunosuppressive tumour-associated stroma. Against this background, we briefly consider the prospects for therapeutic targeting of this system in malignant disease.
- Clinical prognostic factors
- Colony-stimulating factor-1
- Colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor
- Tumour progression