'Cancer associated fibroblasts' - more than meets the eye

Shalom Madar*, Ido Goldstein, Varda Rotter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

290 Scopus citations


Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a subpopulation of cells that reside within the tumor microenvironment and promotes the transformation process by encouraging tumor growth, angiogenesis, inflammation, and metastasis. CAF-specific proteins serve as both prognostic markers and targets for anticancer drugs. With the growing interest in CAFs, several controversial issues have been raised, including the genomic landscape of these cells, the identity of specific markers, and their cell of origin. Here, we tackle these debated issues and put forward a new definition for 'CAF' as a cell 'state' rather than a cell type. We hope this conceptualization can resolve the ongoing discrepancies revolving around CAF research and aid in designing better anti-cancer treatment strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • CAFs
  • Inflammation
  • Microenvironment
  • Mutation
  • Stem cells
  • Stroma


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