Tumor‑associated macrophages in lung cancer: Friend or foe? (Review)

Lung Cancer

Mol Med Rep. 2020 Nov;22(5):4107-4115. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2020.11518. Epub 2020 Sep 17.


Typically, tumor‑associated macrophages (TAMs), an abundant population of leukocytes in lung cancer, are affected by tumor microenvironment (TME) and shift towards either a pro‑tumor (M2‑like) or an anti‑tumor phenotype (M1‑like). M2‑polarized macrophages, are one of the primary tumor‑infiltrating immune cells and were reported to be associated with the promotion of cancer cell growth, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis. TAMs are considered a potential target for adjuvant anticancer

therapies, and recent therapeutic approaches targeting the M2 polarization of TAMs have shown encouraging results. The present review discusses recent developments in the role of TAMs in cancer, in particular TAMs functions, clinical implication and prospective therapeutic strategies in lung cancer.