The metabolic requirements and functions of cancer and normal tissues are vastly different. Due to the rapid growth of cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment, distorted vasculature is commonly observed, which creates harsh environments that require rigorous and constantly evolving cellular adaption. A common hallmark of aggressive and therapeutically resistant tumors is hypoxia and hypoxia-induced stress markers. However, recent studies have identified alterations in a wide spectrum of metabolic pathways that dictate tumor behavior and response to therapy. Accordingly, it is becoming clear that metabolic processes are not uniform throughout the tumor microenvironment. Metabolic processes differ and are cell type specific where various factors promote metabolic heterogeneity within the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, within the tumor, these metabolically distinct cell types can organize to form cellular neighborhoods that serve to establish a pro-tumor milieu in which distant and spatially distinct cellular neighborhoods can communicate via signaling metabolites from stroma, immune and tumor cells. In this review, we will discuss how biochemical interactions of various metabolic pathways influence cancer and immune microenvironments, as well as associated mechanisms that lead to good or poor clinical outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry