Understanding Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts

Aug 8, 2023, 15:14 PM by Arnaud Legrand

In this study, researchers at the ICR focused on two types of cells that are critical in tumours: cancer-associated fibroblasts and cancer cells themselves. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a specific type of cells found in the supportive tissue surrounding tumours. Understanding the differences between these cell types can provide valuable insights for cancer research and treatment.

To explore these differences, the researchers examined the proteins present in cancer cell lines from three common types of cancer: lung, colorectal, and pancreatic. They compared these cancer cell lines to three CAF cell lines, each representing one of the mentioned cancers. By studying the proteins in these cells, they could identify unique characteristics that distinguish CAFs from cancer cells.


The results showed that certain proteins were more active in CAFs, highlighting their role as essential components in the tumour microenvironment. Among these proteins, two new markers called HSPB6 and PTGS1 were discovered. These markers were predominantly present in the stroma, the tissue surrounding tumours, emphasising their potential significance in tumour development and progression. These findings provide a deeper understanding of CAFs and their role in the complex network of tumour growth and progression. By identifying HSPB6 and PTGS1 as specific markers for CAFs, scientists can potentially use them as targets for future cancer therapies or diagnostic tools. Moreover, the data gathered in this study is not only valuable for the researchers involved but also available for other scientists to utilise.


Unbiased differential proteomic profiling between cancer-associated fibroblasts and cancer cell lines - J Proteomics. 2023 Jul 20;104973. 

Rachel Lau, Lu Yu, Theodoros I Roumeliotis, Adam Stewart, Lisa Pickard, Ruth Riisanes, Bora Gurel, Johann S de Bono, Jyoti S Choudhary, Udai Banerji