The role of tumor microenvironment in development and progression of malignant melanomas - a systematic review

Vol. 59 No. 1, 2018


Simona Gurzu, Marius Alexandru Beleaua, Ioan Jung

To reveal the particular aspects of the tumor microenvironment of malignant melanomas, a systematic review including 34 representative papers was performed. The review took into account the aspects related the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway-related epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) versus mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) of keratinocytes, fibroblasts and melanoma cells, as possible tools for understanding genesis and evolution of malignant melanoma. The possible reversible features of EMT and the role of tumor microenvironment in the metastatic process were also analyzed. A particular issue was related on the cancer stem cells that include melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) and multipotent mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs). As the McSCs embryological development in mouse is not similar to human development, the role of stem cells in genesis and development of human melanoma should be proved in human melanoma cells only. For further development of targeted therapy, a better understanding of melanomagenesis pathways and its microenvironment particularities is necessary.

Corresponding author: Simona Gurzu, Professor, MD, PhD, Dr. habil.; e-mail:

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