Much of the cancer research conducted over the past two decades has focused on the tumor and its various characteristics. However, recent data suggest that the microenvironment in which a tumor originates plays a critical role in tumor propagation as well as the development of drug resistance.1 The National Cancer Institute has launched The Tumor Microenvironment Initiative, which focuses on expanding our current understanding of the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer initiation, progression and metastases.2
As research continues, the potential for components of the tumor microenvironment to serve as therapeutic targets in the management of hematologic malignancies becomes more promising.3,4 It is critical that healthcare professionals who treat patients with various hematologic malignancies remain abreast of key findings regarding the importance of the tumor environment and its implications in future research, management and patient outcomes.
Weinberg RA. Nat Genet.. 2008;40:494-495.
National Cancer Institute. http://plan2010.cancer.gov/Tumor_Microenvironment.htm. Accessed March 6, 2010.
Dalton W, Anderson KC. Clin Cancer Res. 2006;12:6603-6610.
Burger JA, Peled A. Leukemia. 2009;23:43-52.
- Explain the complex interactions between stromal cells and tumor cells
- Discuss the role of bone marrow microenvironment in leukemia stem cell survival
- Describe the mechanisms by which bone marrow stroma can confer net chemotherapy resistance in diverse hematologic malignancies
- Discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting one or more stromal components to reverse malignant cell resistance to chemotherapy and improve clinical outcomes for hematologic malignancies
Iannis Aifantis, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
New York University School of Medicine
Co-Director, Cancer Stem Cell Program
New York University Cancer Institute
Early Career Investigator
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
New York, NY
Michael P. Rettig, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section of Bone Marrow Transplant
Division of Oncology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO
Irene M. Ghobrial, MD
Director of Laboratory
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Sean J. Morrison, PhD
Director, University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology
Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology
Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Louis M. Staudt, MD, PhD
Deputy Chief, Metabolism Branch
Center of Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
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