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Role of Tumor-Associated Macrophages in Sarcomas



Simple Summary Recent studies have shown the pro-tumoral role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) not only in major types of carcinomas but also in sarcomas. Several types of TAM-targeted drugs have been investigated under clinical trials, which may represent a novel therapeutic approach for bone and soft-tissue sarcomas. Sarcomas are complex tissues in which sarcoma cells maintain intricate interactions with their tumor microenvironment. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a major component of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and have a dominant role as orchestrators of tumor-related inflammation. TAMs promote tumor growth and metastasis, stimulate angiogenesis, mediate immune suppression, and limit the antitumor activity of conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Evidence suggests that the increased infiltration of TAMs and elevated expression of macrophage-related genes are associated with poor prognoses in most solid tumors, whereas evidence of this in sarcomas is limited. Based on these findings, TAM-targeted therapeutic strategies, such as inhibition of CSF-1/CSF-1R, CCL2/CCR2, and CD47/SIRP alpha, have been developed and are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. While most of the therapeutic challenges that target sarcoma cells have been unsuccessful and the prognosis of sarcomas has plateaued since the 1990s, several clinical trials of these strategies have yielded promising results and warrant further investigation to determine their translational benefit in sarcoma patients. This review summarizes the roles of TAMs in sarcomas and provides a rationale and update of TAM-targeted therapy as a novel treatment approach for sarcomas.


  • Cancers

    Cancers 13 (5), 1086-, 2021-03-03


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