Relevance of tumor microenvironment for progression, therapy and drug development

Tobias Henning, Michael Kraus, Martin Brischwein, Angela M. Otto, Bernhard Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Tumor interstitium exhibits a microenvironment that differs from corresponding normal tissues. Tumor phenotype shows, for example, an elevated intracellular pH (pHi), a lowered extracellular pH (pHe), a low oxygen concentration and low glucose levels. These differences are caused by cell biological (so called intrinsic) factors, e.g. a higher acidification rate, as well as by more systemic (extrinsic) factors, e.g. poor tumor vascularization. They represent important factors for invasiveness, immune suppression and proliferation, and they imply possibilities for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. We have developed an experimental data-based computer model, which has simulated the potential role of metabolic effects on tumor progression. We show an experiment on cellular metabolism demonstrating the immunosuppressive impact of low pHe on peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Finally, we review important findings on the tumor microenvironment leading to possibilities for therapy which are currently evolving and which promise higher effectiveness for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Hypoxia
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Microenvironment
  • Radiation therapy
  • Tumor therapy


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