"The Cancer Metabolic Microenvironment"
Cancer cells have dramatic metabolic alterations that can give growth advantages but also cause changes in the extracellular environment, i.e. the tumor microenvironment. We use a multidisciplinary combination of computational and experimental methods to show that accumulation of metabolic waste products can impair the survival of tumor-associated macrophages, a type of stromal cells important in cancer progression. We show using in vitro models that the decreased survival of macrophages in the tumor core can lead to spatial patterns of macrophage localization resembling how tumor-associated macrophages distribute in real tumors. Spatial patterns can potentiate tumor growth, and thus understanding how they are formed may bring therapeutic insights.