Document Type


Journal Title

Molecular Cancer

Publication Date





Cancer divergence has many facets other than being considered a genetic term. It is a tremendous challenge to understand the metastasis and therapy response in cancer biology; however, it postulates the opportunity to explore the possible mechanism in the surrounding tumor environment. Most deadly solid malignancies are distinctly characterized by their tumor microenvironment (TME). TME consists of stromal components such as immune, inflammatory, endothelial, adipocytes, and fibroblast cells. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or cancer stem-like cells are a small sub-set of the population within cancer cells believed to be a responsible player in the self-renewal, metastasis, and therapy response of cancer cells. The correlation between TME and CSCs remains an enigma in understanding the events of metastasis and therapy resistance in cancer biology. Recent evidence suggests that TME dictates the CSCs maintenance to arbitrate cancer progression and metastasis. The immune, inflammatory, endothelial, adipocyte, and fibroblast cells in the TME release growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, microRNAs, and exosomes that provide cues for the gain and maintenance of CSC features. These intricate cross-talks are fueled to evolve into aggressive, invasive, migratory phenotypes for cancer development. In this review, we have abridged the recent developments in the role of the TME factors in CSC maintenance and how these events influence the transition of tumor progression to further translate into metastasis and therapy resistance in cancer.

MeSH Headings

Humans, Tumor Microenvironment, Neoplasms, MicroRNAs, Cytokines, Neoplastic Stem Cells



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.