Cancer stem cell secretome in the tumor microenvironment: a key point for an effective personalized cancer treatment

López de Andrés, J.; Griñán-Lisón, C.; Jiménez, G.; Marchal, J.A.

Revista: Journal of Hematology and Oncology

ISSN: 1756-8722

Año de publicación: 2020

Volumen: 13

Número: 1

DOI: 10.1186/S13045-020-00966-3


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a tumor subpopulation responsible for tumor metastasis and resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy, ultimately leading to tumor relapse. As a consequence, the detection and eradication of this cell subpopulation represent a current challenge in oncology medicine. CSC phenotype is dependent on the tumor microenvironment (TME), which involves stem and differentiated tumor cells, as well as different cell types, such as mesenchymal stem cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and cells of the immune system, in addition to the extracellular matrix (ECM), different in composition to the ECM in healthy tissues. CSCs regulate multiple cancer hallmarks through the interaction with cells and ECM in their environment by secreting extracellular vesicles including exosomes, and soluble factors such as interleukins, cytokines, growth factors and other metabolites to the TME. Through these factors, CSCs generate and activate their own tumor niche by recruiting stromal cells and modulate angiogenesis, metastasis, resistance to antitumor treatments and their own maintenance by the secretion of different factors such as IL-6, VEGF and TGF-ß. Due to the strong influence of the CSC secretome on disease development, the new antitumor therapies focus on targeting these communication networks to eradicate the tumor and prevent metastasis, tumor relapse and drug resistance. This review summarizes for the first time the main components of the CSC secretome and how they mediate different tumor processes. Lastly, the relevance of the CSC secretome in the development of more precise and personalized antitumor therapies is discussed.