pp 1-16 | Cite as

Role of Tumor Specific niche in Colon Cancer Progression and Emerging Therapies by Targeting Tumor Microenvironment

  • Antara BanerjeeEmail author
  • Yashna Chabria
  • Rajesh Kanna N. R.
  • Janani Gopi
  • Praveen Rowlo
  • Xiao-Feng Sun
  • Surajit Pathak
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series


Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer worldwide leading to escalating mortality rates and mainly includes hereditary, sporadic and colitis-associated cancer development. The escalated mortality rates is due to the limited treatment options as this form of cancer is usually not easy to diagnose in its early stages and are highly invasive leading to rapid metastasis of the malignant cells to the neighbouring tissue. In order to combat this limitation several chemotherapeutic regimens are now being combined with targeted therapies after the knowledge acquired on the inevitable effects of the tumor microenvironment on the colon cancer growth and progress. The colon tumor niche mainly consists of a large mass of tumor cells along with various immune cells, inflammatory cells, tumor macrophages and fibroblasts that infiltrate the tumor as it is a site of predominant inflammation. Among cells of the microenvironment, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exhibiting ability to evolve into cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) have recently generated a major interest in the field. The physiological state of the tumor microenvironment is closely connected to discrete steps of tumorigenesis. The colon cancer cells elicit various factors with their direct interaction with MSCs or via paracrine fashion, which modulate these cells to promote cancer instead of performing their innate function of abating cancer progression. This review intends to highlight the necessity to exploit the cellular landscape of tumor microenvironment of colon cancer and a detailed understanding of the interactions between tumor epithelial cells and their stromal/inflammatory elements will aid in future perspectives for designing therapeutic regimens targeting tumor microenvironment to improve the clinical outcome of colon cancer.


Colon cancer Cytokines Mesenchymal stem cells Metastasis microRNAs Targeted therapy Tumor niche 



Cancer Associated, Fibroblasts


Colon Cancer


Colo Rectal Carcinoma


Extracellular Matrix


Epidermal Growth Factor


Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition


Fibroblast Activating Protein


Hepatocyte Growth Factor


Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells


Migration Inhibitory Factor.


Matrix Metalo Proteinases


Mesenchymal Stem Cells


Regulated on activation, Normal T-cell Expressed and Secreted


Stem Cell Factor


Tumour Associated Macrophages


Tumour Microenvironment


Tumour Necrosis Factor


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor



The authors are thankful to Chettinad Academy of Research and Education for providing the infrastructural support and to SERB, DST, Govt. of India for providing the financial support. The authors are thankful to Mr. Jaganth Arunachalam for technical help in formulating the table.


This work was supported fully by the grants sanctioned to Dr. Antara Banerjee (PI) from the SERB-DST Govt. of India with the sanction file no ECR/2017/001066.

Disclosure of Interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antara Banerjee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yashna Chabria
    • 1
  • Rajesh Kanna N. R.
    • 2
  • Janani Gopi
    • 1
  • Praveen Rowlo
    • 1
  • Xiao-Feng Sun
    • 3
  • Surajit Pathak
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Allied Health SciencesChettinad Academy of Research and Education (CARE) and Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute (CHRI)KelambakkamIndia
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Faculty of MedicineChettinad Academy of Research & EducationKelambakkamIndia
  3. 3.Department of Oncology and Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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