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Tumor macroenvironment and Metabolism

  • Al-Zhoughbi, Wael
  • Huang, Jianfeng
  • Paramasivan, Ganapathy S.
  • Till, Holger
  • Pichler, Martin
  • Guertl-Lackner, Barbara
  • Hoefler, Gerald
Published Article
Seminars in Oncology
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
DOI: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2014.02.005


In the review we introduce the concept of the tumor macroenvironment and explore it in the context of metabolism. Tumor cells interact with the tumor microenvironment including immune cells. Blood and lymph vessels are the critical components that deliver nutrients to the tumor and also connect the tumor to the macroenvironment. Several factors are then released from the tumor itself but potentially also from the tumor microenvironment influencing the metabolism of distant tissues and organs. Amino acids, distinct lipid and lipoprotein species can be essential for further tumor growth. The role of glucose in tumor metabolism has been studied extensively.Cancer-associated cachexia is the most important tumor associated systemic syndrome affecting not only the quality of life of patients with various malignancies but is estimated to be the cause of death in 15-20% of all cancer patients. On the other hand, systemic metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are known to influence tumor development.Furthermore, the clinical implications of the tumor macroenvironment are explored in the context of patient’s outcome with special consideration of pediatric tumors. Finally, ways to target the tumor macroenvironment that will provide new approaches for therapeutic concepts are described.

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