Role of Tumor-Associated B Cells in Tumor Heterogeneity and Therapy Resistance

Source: News Medical Life Sciences, January 2018

Melanoma is a destructive form of skin cancer and treating advanced-stage melanomas is difficult due to the fact that tumors develop resistance to most of the therapies at this stage, including drugs targeting oncogenic BRAFV600E. Moreover, strong responses to immune checkpoint therapies are observed in only one-third of melanoma patients.

Receptor-tyrosine kinase (RTK) mediated resistance to BRAF and BRAF/MEK therapy has been clearly elucidated in patients’ tumor samples and in vitro models. However, how tumor stroma/microenvironment serves as a source of growth factors in therapy resistance still remains a mystery.

Apart from targeting tumor cells, it has been proposed that targeting infiltrating fibroblasts present in the tumor microenvironment (TME) is a novel approach to treat melanoma. Earlier studies propose that an active interaction between fibroblasts and melanoma cells promotes tumor growth and therapy resistance.

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