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Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are by now established as important regulators of tumor progression by impacting on tumor immunity, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Hence, a multitude of approaches are currently pursued to intervene with TAM's protumor activities, the most advanced of which being a blockade of macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)/M-CSF receptor (M-CSFR) signaling. M-CSFR signaling largely impacts on the differentiation of macrophages, including TAM, and hence strongly influences the numbers of these cells in tumors. However, a repolarization of TAM toward a more antitumor phenotype may be more elegant and may yield stronger effects on tumor growth. In this respect, several aspects of TAM behavior could be altered, such as their intratumoral localization, metabolism and regulatory pathways. Intervention strategies could include the use of small molecules but also new generations of biologicals which may complement the current success of immune checkpoint blockers. This review highlights current work on the search for new therapeutic targets in TAM. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


Stefano Bonelli, Xenia Geeraerts, Evangelia Bolli, Jiri Keirsse, Mate Kiss, Ana Rita Pombo Antunes, Helena Van Damme, Karen De Vlaminck, Kiavash Movahedi, Damya Laoui, Geert Raes, Jo A Van Ginderachter. Beyond the M-CSF receptor - novel therapeutic targets in tumor-associated macrophages. The FEBS journal. 2017 Aug 20

PMID: 28834216

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