Breast cancer-associated fibroblasts: Where we are and where we need to go

Rachel J. Buchsbaum, Sun Young Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


Cancers are heterogeneous tissues comprised of multiple components, including tumor cells and microenvironment cells. The tumor microenvironment has a critical role in tumor progression. The tumor microenvironment is comprised of various cell types, including fibroblasts, macrophages and immune cells, as well as extracellular matrix and various cytokines and growth factors. Fibroblasts are the predominant cell type in the tumor microenvironment. However, neither the derivation of tissue-specific cancer-associated fibroblasts nor markers of tissue-specific cancer-associated fibroblasts are well defined. Despite these uncertainties it is increasingly apparent that cancer-associated fibroblasts have a crucial role in tumor progression. In breast cancer, there is evolving evidence showing that breast cancer-associated fibroblasts are actively involved in breast cancer initiation, proliferation, invasion and metastasis. Breast cancer-associated fibroblasts also play a critical role in metabolic reprogramming of the tumor microenvironment and therapy resistance. This review summarizes the current understanding of breast cancer-associated fibroblasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 27 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer-associated fibroblasts
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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