Ovarian cancer is a histologically, clinically, and molecularly diverse disease with a five-year survival rate of less than 30%. It has been estimated that approximately 21,980 new cases of epithelial ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and 14,270 deaths will occur in the United States in 2015, making it the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. Ovarian tumor tissue is composed of cancer cells and a collection of different stromal cells. There is increasing evidence that demonstrates that stromal involvement is important in ovarian cancer pathogenesis. Therefore, stroma-specific signaling pathways, stroma-derived factors, and genetic changes in the tumor stroma present unique opportunities for improving the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are one of the major components of the tumor stroma that have demonstrated supportive roles in tumor progression. In this review, we highlight various types of signaling crosstalk between ovarian cancer cells and stromal cells, particularly with CAFs. In addition to evaluating the importance of signaling crosstalk in ovarian cancer progression, we discuss approaches that can be used to target tumor-promoting signaling crosstalk and how these approaches can be translated into potential ovarian cancer treatment.
- Cancer-associated fibroblasts
- Ovarian cancer
- Stromal-tumor crosstalk