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Many cancers begin with the formation of a small nest of transformed cells that can remain dormant for years. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) initially promotes dormancy by suppressing angiogenesis, a key early step in tumor progression. Over time, increases in drivers of angiogenesis predominate, and vascular cells, immune cells, and fibroblasts are recruited to the tumor mass forming a complex tissue, designated the tumor microenvironment. Numerous factors, including growth factors, chemokine/cytokine, and extracellular matrix, participate in the desmoplastic response that in many ways mimics wound healing. Vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells, and cancer-associated pericytes, fibroblasts, macrophages and immune cells are recruited to the tumor microenvironment, where multiple members of the TSP gene family promote their proliferation, migration and invasion. The TSPs also affect the immune signature of tumor tissue and the phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages. Consistent with these observations, expression of some TSPs has been established to correlate with poor outcomes in specific types of cancer. Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


James Petrik, Sylvia Lauks, Bianca Garlisi, Jack Lawler. Thrombospondins in the tumor microenvironment. Seminars in cell & developmental biology. 2024 Mar 01;155(Pt B):3-11

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PMID: 37286406

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