What is the tumour microenvironment?
The tumour microenvironment (TME) is the cellular environment within which the tumour exists. This includes the surrounding blood vessels, immune cells, fibroblasts, bone marrow-derived inflammatory cells, lymphocytes, signaling molecules and the extracellular matrix (ECM).
What are Tuft cells?
Tuft cells are rare chemosensory cells scattered throughout the epithelium tissue of the digestive tract. Their biological functions include tissue repair and regeneration, as well as modulation of immune responses during parasite infections. Tuft cell numbers increase during the early stages of tumour development; the importance of this increase is not yet well understood.
What are ILC2 cells?
ILC2s play the crucial role of secreting type 2 cytokines in response to certain parasitic infections. They have also been implicated in the development of allergic lung inflammation. They express characteristic surface markers and receptors for chemokines, which are involved in distributing lymphoid cells to specific organ sites. ILC2s are critical in primary responses to local Th2 antigens, such as helminths and viruses, and this is why ILC2s are abundant in tissues of the skin, lungs, liver and gut. Their role in cancer development is not yet well understood.
What is EMT?
The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process through which epithelial cells lose their cell polarity and intercellular adhesion, instead gaining migratory and invasive properties to become mesenchymal stem cells, which are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of different cell types.