Role of tumor-associated macrophages in sarcomas

Tomohiro Fujiwara, John Healey, Koichi Ogura, Aki Yoshida, Hiroya Kondo, Toshiaki Hata, Miho Kure, Hiroshi Tazawa, Eiji Nakata, Toshiyuki Kunisada, Toshiyoshi Fujiwara, Toshifumi Ozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Sarcomas are complex tissues in which sarcoma cells maintain intricate interactions with their tumor microenvironment. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a major component of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and have a dominant role as or-chestrators of tumor-related inflammation. TAMs promote tumor growth and metastasis, stimulate angiogenesis, mediate immune suppression, and limit the antitumor activity of conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Evidence suggests that the increased infiltration of TAMs and elevated expression of macrophage-related genes are associated with poor prognoses in most solid tumors, whereas evidence of this in sarcomas is limited. Based on these findings, TAM-targeted therapeutic strategies, such as inhibition of CSF-1/CSF-1R, CCL2/CCR2, and CD47/SIRPα, have been developed and are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. While most of the therapeutic challenges that target sarcoma cells have been unsuccessful and the prognosis of sarcomas has plateaued since the 1990s, several clinical trials of these strategies have yielded promising results and warrant further investigation to determine their translational benefit in sarcoma patients. This review summarizes the roles of TAMs in sarcomas and provides a rationale and update of TAM-targeted therapy as a novel treatment approach for sarcomas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1086
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Clinical trial
  • Immunotherapy
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma
  • Tumor-associated macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of tumor-associated macrophages in sarcomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this