Carcinogenesis and tumor progression are not caused not only by malignant epithelial cells, but also by the tumor stroma around cancer stem cells which performs regulatory, nutritional and ‘framework’ functions. It is represented by mesenchymal cells of various types predominantly by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF). αSMA, FAP-1, desmin, podoplanin, neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2), PDGFR-α and -β are used for CAF identification but there is no universal markers due to the plasticity of the cell population that underlies the subpopulation division CAF. CAF subpopulations are not described for many tumor types. Recently, evidence has accumulated that CAFs mediate many adverse processes in the tumor, including can support stromal inflammation and cause fibrosis. By forming a niche in cancer stem cells, CAFs mediate chemoresistance and the appearance of dormant metastases. The study of the role of CAF will allow not only to form a fundamentally new understanding of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, but also to create new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for treating tumors.
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