Clin Mol Hepatol > Accepted Articles
Crosstalk between tumor-associated macrophages and neighboring cells in hepatocellular carcinoma
Pil Soo Sung1,2
1The Catholic University Liver Research Center, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Republic of Korea
2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Republic of Korea
Correspondence :  Pil Soo Sung ,
Tel: +82-2258-2073, Fax: +82-2-3481-4025, Email: pssung@catholic.ac.kr
Received: September 27, 2021  Revised: October 16, 2021   Accepted: October 18, 2021
Abstract
The tumor microenvironment generally shows substantial immunosuppressive activity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), explaining the suboptimal efficacy of immune-based treatments for this difficult-to-treat cancer. Crosstalk between tumor cells and various cell types in the tumor microenvironment is strongly related to the progression of HCC and treatment resistance. Monocytes are recruited to the tumor microenvironment of HCC by various factors and become tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) with distinct phenotypes. TAMs often contribute to weakened tumor-specific immune responses and a more aggressive phenotype of malignancy. Recent single-cell RNA sequencing data have demonstrated the central roles of specific TAMs in tumorigenesis and treatment resistance by their interactions with various cell populations in the HCC tumor microenvironment. This review focuses on the roles of TAMs as well as the crosstalk between TAMs and neighboring cell types in the HCC tumor microenvironment.
KeyWords: hepatocellular carcinoma, immunotherapy, tumor-associated macrophage, tumor microenvironment

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